MILLBURN, NJ - Friday afternoon, Hartshorn Elementary School took the opportunity to thank the boys in blue.

Members of the municipal, county and state police were at Hartshorn for the second annual Officer Appreciation Day. Change Agent students at Hartshorn School were behind the activity and presented representatives from all levels of state policing with plaques showing their appreciation.

As part of the festivities, the State Police landed their helicopter on the back lawn at Hartshorn School. The students in attendance as the copter touched down were in awe of the noise and wind from the blades. After the presentation of the colors from the Millburn Police Honor Guard, the pledge of allegiance was said, and those in attendance at the assembly settled in.

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"This is very encouraging for the Millburn Police Department to see the students of Hartshorn School come out and put on a great presentation." Police Chief Brian Gilfedder said. He also noted that the handmade cards designed by students were a touching memento.

Speaking with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills before the event, State Trooper Shane McClafferty shared Gilfedder's enthusiasm for the event and said he was excited to talk with students.

"This is an awesome thing that the kids are doing today," McClafferty said. "I'm very proud to be part of it and I look forward to meeting with all the kids."

And for Hartshorn Principal Ken Frattini, the event was a great chance for his teachers to bring key components of their curriculum out into the real world.

"It's so critical in the development of a child," Frattini said, referring to the real world experiences like meeting police officers. "My own personal perspective as an educator and a father; I think it's one of the most critical elements in our education."

"Social-emotional learning and character education should be at the forefront because if you don't have that, nothing else can be built upon that foundation," Frattini added.