Veterans Honored by Frost Valley students
Middle School Frost Valley Project
Ends with Award Ceremony for Veterans
Traditionally in Sayville Middle School, the annual Eighth-grade Frost Valley Trip has been much more than an environmental classroom experience. In this natural but neutral setting, Sayville Middle School students have focused on team-building themes that bond the class as a whole.
This year’s Frost Valley theme adopted the vision of the Wounded Warrior Project Foundation and the five pillars that exemplify WWP’s core values: Fun, Integrity, Loyalty, Innovation, and Service to expand the students’ awareness about sacrifices made by many to ensure that “we can be free and live such a blessed life.”
“The Foundation's Mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors,” the Middle School Frost Valley committee acknowledged. “The vision of this organization is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. Many sacrifices have been made by young men and women serving our country at home and abroad. Our focus is to demonstrate these goals to our Eighth-grade students with the hope they will acknowledge and appreciate how fortunate they are to live in this country, and that someday the responsibility could fall on them to serve others. Sacrifice is never easy and we don’t always see the rewards….We go to Frost Valley each year to provide students with the opportunity to grow and learn about themselves as well as their classmates. This activity was developed and specifically designed to challenge students…”
In their social studies classes prior to their Frost Valley Trip, the Eighth-graders conducted research on the mission of WWP foundation and how it helps wounded warriors. During advisory, students were encouraged to create poster designs on the theme, either individually or as a group, which would include the words: fun, integrity, loyalty, innovation, and service. The students also completed entries for the Frost Valley T-Shirt contest as well as a contest for writing either a poem, song, or other literature piece that reflected the core values of the Wounded Warrior Project.
As part of the agenda once they arrived in Frost Valley, the students discussed all the concepts that factored into their themes and how these values have impact on their lives in positive ways. After all the posters, color centerpieces of the theme, were displayed, the students voted for their favorite poster design based upon how well the theme was conveyed visually. Receiving the greatest number of votes for his poster design was Brady LaMartina.
The written submissions were also evaluated and the judges’ decisions recognized three students for their stellar written works: Gabriele Thornton (poetry), Kaitlin Weber (poetry), and Sam Zanchelli (music lyrics).
The Middle School students came home from Frost Valley with a greater appreciation of what service to one’s country actually means. They had one more opportunity to express their gratitude to actual Veterans during the Holiday Jazz Tour on the last day before the Christmas break. Principal Thomas Murray held a special morning awards ceremony for select Veterans who were invited to receive the signed banner made by the Frost Valley students, listen to the award winning poems and music, and to view the poster artwork showcased in the Middle School library.
Although no expression of gratitude can match the level of sacrifice made by our Veterans and Wounded Warriors, the Middle School students did their creative best to show how much they had learned about those WWP core values and the foundation's goal to successfully foster well-adjusted generations of wounded warriors.
Banner photo above (left to right): Michael Alcabes, Collin Alcabes, Richard Erdmann, Joseph Franzosa, Gary Gentile, Andrew Henning, Christopher Imperato,Terina Imperato, Hugh Prior, Principal Thomas Murray