Valentine’s Day is not just for those you love, but also the perfect time to show appreciation for those who have gone above and beyond. Locust Valley students recently took this opportunity to thank local veterans for their service to our country by making them Valentine’s Day cards. 

The handmade cards were not only colorful and festive, but also contained personal thank-you letters from each student. The project was part of the Nassau County Valentines for Veterans program.

Skylar Goodman said she thinks it is very important to thank the veterans who protect our country. “I hope it makes them happy,” said the LVI student, a fifth-grader in Katherine Smith’s class. Other classes at LVI and those at Ann MacArthur Primary School, including Barbara Fahlbusch’s kindergartners, created cards for veterans. At Bayville Intermediate School, the student council took on the task and made individual cards for donation to the Valentines for Veterans program.

Smith said the project fits in perfectly with the curriculum. The fifth-graders spent time this year discussing the characteristics of a lifelong learner, such as being principled, caring, balanced, reflective, open-minded, a risk-taker, knowledgeable, a thinker and a communicator. 

“This lent itself well to the themes in our reading program, which focused on what kinds of challenges people face and how they meet those challenges,” Smith explained. She described another unit that focused on what makes people want to do the right thing and explained that the stories within both units became the vehicles used to discuss broader topics. Those topics included the community and its members, such as police officers, firemen, teachers and veterans, as well as social issues such as discrimination, immigration, bullying and homelessness. 

“The Valentines for Veterans project was the perfect way to put what we learned into action,” said Smith, who worked with fellow fifth-grade teacher Margaret Costello to guide the students in preparing the cards.