For I.S. 201, the Dyker Heights School, Veterans Day is an every-day occasion.
On Monday, November 9, a group of students spent the morning at the Veterans Affairs Hospital, 800 Poly Place, where they delivered cupcakes, t-shirts and handmade cards to patients.
“It was a really great experience for the kids, and for myself to be honest,” said teacher Joseph Gianni, who led the students on the two-hour trip. “This was the first time we’d ever done something like this, and we went in there not knowing what to expect. These veterans, they don’t see a lot of kids—their eyes lit up.”
Some students sat and talked with veterans – many of them from Vietnam and Iraq – while others treated them to a game of Jenga or a pool. All students exchanged personal letters with the patients.
“It was amazing to see,” Gianni went on, adding that the school is already planning its next visit—just in time for the holidays. “Both the veterans and the kids were just so happy. The students really felt like they made a difference.
“We’re going to go back with gifts,” the teacher said. “Veterans Day is not just one day for us. We feel it should be every day.”