A recent visit to Washington, DC reminded me of the importance of sharing our support for our military families outside our school community. Led by Amanda Woodyard, our Military Student Transition Consultant for our school division and housed at Ashland, students from Ashland and neighboring schools helped make two quilts to show their support for the armed forces. They made efforts to share their story as military-connected children through these quilts titled “An Elementary Patriotic Thank you” and “We Serve Too.”
On Tuesday, April 18th, We were invited to the Lyndon B. Johnson Department of Education to donate these quilts with a ceremony to explain the background of the project and our support for our military-connected students. Ashland represented Prince William County Public Schools and 54 students from neighboring schools, such as Henderson and Pattie Elementary Schools, that completed this project. The quilts now hang on permanent display in the front lobby of the building, which is right across the street from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum!
As we listened to the process of this being made, hearing our students speak and Mrs. Kitt, who sewed the quilt pieces together, I was reminded on the needs that our military-connected students have. In many cases, our students seem to be doing amazing and ‘normal’ but inside they could be hiding away stress and worry about their parents as they serve our country. It reminded me that we need to continue checking in and reaching out to our students even if they appear to be doing just fine. You never know that one time you do may make all the difference in the world to that student!
Ashland is all about student voice and student leadership. Having your work in such a prominent place shows these students that their efforts matter. Nice job students, Mrs. Kitt, and Mrs. Woodyard for your leadership!