To recognize our community’s first responders on Patriot’s Day, the Dennis Township Education Association PRIDE Committee organized teachers and students to show thanks by writing cards and bringing in treats from students, families and teachers.
From kindergarten through 8th grade, students wrote letters and drew cards thanking first responders for their hard work and sacrifice in keeping them safe. Teachers and student volunteers put together care baskets from the donated treats and then teachers and parents delivered the cards and baskets to the local first responders in Dennis Township, including the Dennisville, Ocean View and Belleplain Fire Companies, the Belleplain Rescue Squad, and the New Jersey State Police at the Woodbine Barracks.
The DTEA PRIDE Committee, chaired by district speech therapist Kelli Turner, organizes and sponsors events to develop and strengthen relations between the school and community throughout the school year. Though this was a quick turnaround with a later start for the school year, Turner is pleased with the support the PRIDE Committee has received from students, families and staff.
Assistant chair and special education teacher Kim Holman says, “Our first responders are a very important part of our community and we want to show our respect and honor their commitment, dedication and selflessness in keeping our community safe and secure.”
Turner also points out an increased presence of first responders in Dennis Township schools, ranging from fire company demonstrations to the role of Trooper Wamsher, the district resource officer, in student activities and organizations. “Having a greater role for our first responders in our schools gives students more exposure to what they do and what potential career options they have, and we want to show our appreciation for that as well,” Turner explains. “Sometimes it’s also just nice to hear someone say thanks.”