Riverbank Unified School District and community members were invited to “thank a veteran” in honor of Veterans’ Day this past Friday by the leadership students at Adelante High School (AHS). The notes are now on display for the public at the district office in Riverbank. With multiple celebrations and ceremonies in the City of Action for the Veterans’ Day holiday, the students at AHS wanted to make sure they were doing their part in honoring veterans.
Project Veterans’ Salute was underway after students discussed the importance of Veterans’ Day with their Social Science teacher Kristi Santos.
“The idea represents one of the wonderful collaborations that happens between AHS Leadership students,” stated Santos. “So it was a collaborative, creative effort.”
The students created a form where the participants could write down the name and relation to the veteran they were thanking along with a short message (salute) to that veteran.
“The idea is that our community reads notes from participants, to learn how many of us do indeed have ties to a veteran,” added Santos. “It helps us learn about each other, and about our families or loved ones.”
AHS student Esperanza Cruz had a recollection of her great grandmother that served this country in the United States Army as a nurse. This project helped create a connection between the two of them. While manning the booth for the project, Cruz also encouraged people to participate.
“The display was first in front of AHS, for all students and staff to read,” said Santos. “We learned a lot about one another. Students who did not write a note to a veteran, participated by reading the ‘salutes’ that others had written.”
Another student volunteer, Luis Velasco, decorated the cart using colored butcher paper that he used to create a large American Flag to cover the cart. With assistance from Angelina Estrada the cart was decorated quickly and efficiently and they also worked the booth at brunch, allowing students to write their ‘salutes.’
“It was an important project that brought our community together, and helped us to really understand that veterans are all around us,” expressed Santos. “They represent family members, and friends to so many of our community members.”