Members of the West End Elementary School Student Council in the Lynbrook Public Schools did not let the COVID-19 pandemic stand in the way of them giving back to others this Valentine’s Day. Student council members, along with their advisers Heather LaBarbera and Melissa Kulikowsky, recently challenged the West End remote and in-person fourth and fifth grade students with a letter writing project to thank essential workers across Long Island who have been working on the frontlines throughout the pandemic.
In these thoughtful and decorated letters, the students thanked doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers for their dedication and sacrifices during this past year. Through their writing, students offered kind words of appreciation, encouragement and gratitude. Many students wrote that these frontline workers were their heroes and inspired them. Some of the letters can be found on the walls of New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center.
The fourth and fifth graders then had the opportunity to participate in a Webex meeting with some of the New York healthcare heroes that they had sent their letters to. The virtual meeting was a question and answer session with the healthcare workers. Students asked questions about their education, their typical workday and discussed how COVID-19 changed the healthcare field. Despite the challenges, the healthcare heroes reiterated their passion for helping others and helping the world. These professionals were beyond touched by the words and gratitude of the West End classes.
“We are so proud of the students for writing such meaningful and thoughtful letters, said Ms. LaBarbera and Ms. Kulikowsky. “Hopefully, these letters will bring some smiles and cheer to our healthcare heroes and show them we are so grateful for their efforts and their undeniable passion for helping others!”
1) West End fifth graders Benjamin Dichter (left) and Olutomi Akinkugbe with their letters.
2) West End fourth graders (left to right) Ava Hassan, Kevin Ryan, Jhosets Pineda wrote and decorated their letters to send to healthcare heroes.
3) Fourth graders in David Ajello’s class and student council co-adviser Heather LaBarbera, met virtually with Dr. Dondre Irving, a surgeon from Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, for a question and answer session.
Photos courtesy of the Lynbrook Public Schools