Social studies lessons throughout the years have provided students in grades 5-8 at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School a chance to develop a deep appreciation for military veterans and their service to the United States. Every month the students make cards or other kinds of artwork to thank area veterans who have appointments at the Dunkirk Veterans' Clinic.
Yearly service projects are also developed. One consisted of collecting canned and boxed foods. The students learned that many veterans lived on rations that provided little food, but enough energy to keep them fighting. This project reminded the students that at times many veterans had little food to eat.
Another project involved collecting toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, and mouthwash. The students realized that the everyday products taken for granted by most people were difficult for some veterans to obtain because of where they were stationed.
This year the school collected 421 pairs of socks for veterans. Some of the students are pictured with the packages. Sitting: Brandon Drummond. Left to right: Bottom row: Tommy Askar, Robert Hall, and Kyler Huels. Middle row Marc Patterson and Zoe Spann. Top row: Thomas Lidlow, Joe Mihaly, Monica Pokoj.
This year's service project was to collect white crew socks to be given to the veterans. The students learned that many veterans' socks had holes in them, especially during times of war, which resulted in cold feet and sometimes frostbite. The entire NCCS family collected 421 pairs of socks. Each child in the school colored cards that thanked the veterans for their service. Student volunteers wrapped the socks. Principal John Georger, social studies teacher Deborah Mourer and fifth grade students delivered the wrapped packages to the Dunkirk VA Clinic on Dec. 9.
The students presented the gifts to veterans waiting for their appointments, sang Christmas carols with them and asked the Veterans what they did while serving in the military. The Veterans were more than happy to share their stories!