Rising Starr says thank you

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The Panthers of Rising Starr Middle believe in showing gratitude to those who serve.

As part of the lesson on 9/11 in her 8th grade social studies class, Elizabeth McCullough had her students handwrite letters of appreciation and donate goodies to first responders and military personnel. It is a tradition McCullough has continued for nearly two decades.

After the lesson, there is a discussion about the bravery of our local police and fire department.

“We talk about, if something terrible happened in our community, our heroes would come in to help us,” said McCullough. “We talked about the recent Walmart fire. It was the police and fire departments running inside, while everyone else ran out.”

Students write three thank you letters each, one to law enforcement, one to firefighters, and one to active military. Students and parents are also asked to donate goodies, and McCullough delivers the letters and supplies locally. The military letters get mailed overseas.

“I want them to know and appreciate how hard our local fire and police departments work. Because of their sacrifices, we are safe,” said McCullough. “I want them to also understand that freedom is not free, that people have, throughout our history, made sacrifices so we could live in this country with our freedoms. These people are away from their families while we are here at home with our families enjoying the freedoms we have. I hope they will thank every military person they see and thank them for their service!”