WESTAMPTON, NJ -- Students at Burlington County Special Services School District (BCSSSD) used their creativity to show appreciation to active duty military members and veterans in November as part of the 10th Annual Military Appreciation Card Campaign. This year, BCSSSD received 150 names and addresses of military personnel to be honored with a handmade card.
Superintendent Dr. Christopher Nagy, who has two siblings who have served in the military, said he is "grateful to our active and retired military personnel, and to those who died to protect the freedoms we enjoy today."
The campaign began in early November with a request to the community for names and addresses of potential recipients. Students then worked on one-of-a-kind cards to send to each person. Volunteer occupational therapists and speech therapists worked with students, individually and according to their abilities, to carefully create each card. Making the cards helped students hone their fine motor skills with activities such as cutting, gluing, and writing messages.
This year, students continued this tradition while still maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols. Each student had their own workstation and materials and completed cards were held for two weeks before being mailed. Students participating in remote learning were sent supplies and created their cards from home, with virtual guidance from a therapist.
"There is no better way for students and staff to honor our veterans and to demonstrate our appreciation for our men and women in the Armed Forces than this outpouring of love and appreciation led by our occupational therapists, among other therapists, on the Westampton Campus, who work closely with our students each year," added Nagy. "They encouraged our students to create beautiful cards to honor military members this month and helped them learn to apply their skill sets and the value of gratitude and appreciation."
“We are thrilled to be able to continue this meaningful program and amazed at how it has grown over the past 10 years. Our students across all of the campuses look forward to participating in the program and making valuable connections with our larger community. The students and staff members are humbled when we receive notes or cards from the card recipients expressing their own thanks for the special acknowledgement," said Kimberly Niehaus Scheetz, occupational therapist and BCSSEA Pride Chair who organized this year’s campaign.
This special program is funded by the Burlington County Special Services Education Association (BCSSEA) Pride in Education Committee.
The three campuses of BCSSSD, which educates students with special needs from across Burlington County, provides comprehensive educational and therapeutic programs for preschool and school-age students, ranging from ages three to twenty-one. In addition to the widely recognized programs for students with multiple disabilities and programs for children with autism, BCSSSD also offers a continuum of options for students with behavioral issues featuring both traditional, classroom-based schools and alternative