2013-02-15 / Front Page

Valentine’s lesson

Children learn true meaning of day
By Jack Flagler
Staff Writer


The students in Ryan Bissell’s third-grade classroom wrote cards to troops in Afghanistan this Valentine’s Day. The students, alphabetically, are: Greta Cobb, Sophie Delenick, Alexander Domingos, Riley Donschikowski, Navinn Ean, Abigail Freese, Calen Googins, Cameron Laverdiere, Alice Marenghi, Petmanee Nakummun, Trent Oliver, Elise Riddell, Amber Roy, Sage Soucy, Alexandra Spiegel, Ryan Thurber, Joseph West, Jillian Winson and Owen Zang. (Courtesy photo)  The students in Ryan Bissell’s third-grade classroom wrote cards to troops in Afghanistan this Valentine’s Day. The students, alphabetically, are: Greta Cobb, Sophie Delenick, Alexander Domingos, Riley Donschikowski, Navinn Ean, Abigail Freese, Calen Googins, Cameron Laverdiere, Alice Marenghi, Petmanee Nakummun, Trent Oliver, Elise Riddell, Amber Roy, Sage Soucy, Alexandra Spiegel, Ryan Thurber, Joseph West, Jillian Winson and Owen Zang. (Courtesy photo) SOUTH PORTLAND – Valentine’s Day in elementary school usually involves a few cards shared among students – and a lot of candy thrown into backpacks at the end of the day.

This February, students and teachers at Dyer Elementary School are reaching out to their community to share their message of love.

Denise McNamara’s fourth-grade students are collecting 100 items to donate to the Preble Street Resource Center in Portland. The students will send over water bottles, hand sanitizer and personal items to the center. This holiday season, students collected nonperishable food items in a “stuff the bus” campaign for the center, which provides services to those going through problems with homelessness, hunger and poverty.

Students at Dyer Elementary School in South Portland wrote letters to soldiers stations overseas for Valentine's Day. (Courtesy images)Students at Dyer Elementary School in South Portland wrote letters to soldiers stations overseas for Valentine's Day. (Courtesy images)Susan Morneault’s kindergarten students, meanwhile, are creating Valentine’s placemats for elderly residents of the Inn at Village Square in Gorham. The placemats will be delivered at the assisted living facility’s annual holiday party.

Students in Ryan Bissell’s third-grade classroom are reaching out further, and sharing their message overseas. Ms. Bissell’s class wrote Valentine’s letters to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, placed inside cards of pink construction paper decorated with hearts, flowers and peace signs.

“Thank you for risking your life for us. Thank you for protecting. You are super cool and you are my hero,” wrote one student named Abby in her letter.

Students shared funny stories, their favorite foods and colors and messages of thanks for the soldiers.

“It’s good to read letters from the kids because it’s important that they understand what is going on around the world too,” said a sergeant first class, in a media release. “Some were funny, and some actually had thought and meaning.”

“Dyer students have many interests and a great deal of talent to share,” added Principal Elizabeth Fowler. “They warm my heart each day with their kindness and caring.”

Read more of the letters students shared with the soldiers above.

Return to top