Thanks to a very dedicated principal and teaching staff, students at the Longue Sault Public School (LSPS), in Ontario, have had the opportunity to learn at a deeper level what it means to serve one’s country, as well as what it means to remember.
“Without reluctance, the work we have done at LSPS has truly been the most meaningful work I have been involved with in my career as an educator,” said Kieran Kennedy, principal of Longue Sault Public School.
“I believe that when you synergize all of the opportunities which have transpired over the course of four years, many of the students at LSPS will always look at the concepts of Remembrance, Service and Sacrifice with a lens that would make our Veterans happy given everything they have done for Canada.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently sent the school a letter commending the students on their work and their efforts.
“Youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow but also the leaders of today. The things they do today can have a tremendous impact on our world,” stated the Prime Minister in a letter to the school. “I hope the students of Longue Sault Public School continue to inspire others in their communities.”
Over the last four years, LSPS students have taken part in several different Remembrance-based activities. They have made visits too long term care facilities to interact with, and express gratitude, to Second World War veterans. They have had ongoing letters campaigns to active duty soldiers and veterans and visited the Poppy Memorial and Afghan War Memorial.
Some students in Grade 3 to 6 volunteered to take the time to learn about Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Also, the school made a two-year devotion to supporting Wounded Warriors of Canada through the sale of Mr. Freezies at lunchtime.
“These projects were launched when I became principal of LSPS four years ago, and through the tremendous support of SerVice, specifically Kerri Tadeu and retired Master Corporal Collin Fitzgerald, we have made these initiatives visible in the culture of the school and not just something that is done on Remembrance Day,” said Kennedy.
The Premier of Ontario also sent the school a letter commending the students and their teachers.
“I was very touched to learn of the poppies you created to place on the Highway of Heroes Mobile Memorial Globe in honour of the brave men and women we lost in Afghanistan. The poppies, immortalized in bronze, will now travel with the memorial across this great province and country,” stated Ontario Premier Doug Ford in a letter to the school.
“This is a wonderful way to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Your offering will serve to teach other young Canadians about the human costs of war.”
Kennedy found a great deal of support with his teaching staff for these projects. Through the time devoted in class time to help with the different projects, and helping to create special lesson plans to support the activities, the school was able to show students the bigger picture.
“I believe that our students are now able to connect the dots on the freedoms and the liberties that we all enjoy,” said Kennedy adding, “and most importantly, that these very freedoms came at a great cost. Freedom is not free.”
The efforts made by both the students and teachers are greatly appreciated in the community.
“Mr. Kennedy and his staff are incredible leaders in the education system, always being exemplary role models in leading by example with an attitude of gratitude in everything they do in their school community. Mr. Kennedy’s students are so kind, caring, respectful, and motivated to do the right thing at any given moment, and that comes from the remarkable calibre of the character of Mr. Kennedy and his staff. Mr. Kennedy is a first class human being and a first-class educator,” said Kerri Tadeau of SerViCe and Sacrifice.