Uniting Together To Make A Difference

The Career, Technical and Adult Education department at Eastern Suffolk BOCES creates opportunities for students by providing them with the technical and academic skills needed to prepare for future employment, college or other post secondary programs. Students in our programs are encouraged to participate in community based events in order to become well rounded individuals, develop leadership skills and to learn more about the world around them. During the last 9 years our buildings focused on individual service activities to remember and honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and to pay tribute to those who have or are currently helping to protect our country from future terrorist attacks. By coming together and focusing on one project, “Uniting Together to Make a Difference” more students will get involved and will inspire friends and family members to be a part of our challenge. Our goal is to have all of our programs (approximately 1,100 staff and students) participate in this challenge. Plans for our project have already begun. Activities for this September include: • Creating a two-side display board. One side titled Never Forget 9/11 will include photographs taken of the trade center on September 9th, photographs taken by a staff member who volunteered for the clean-up efforts, helicopter photographs and a variety of newspaper articles about individuals and survivors. The second side will be divided in half. The first half will be titled Support Our Troops, a yellow ribbon will be placed in the center of the board. Photographs and articles about our service men and women will be posted. The second half will be titled Salute our Veterans. A photograph of a student saluting an Iraq war veteran will be prominently displayed. Other photographs and articles will surround the salute. We hope to share our display board with libraries in the towns of Brookhaven, Islip and Riverhead. • Daily announcements will include a moment of silence for the lives that were lost. Quotes from 9/11 survivors will also be included to serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made and the sacrifices that our military continues to make every day. • Administrative staff will be distributing Never Forget September 11th commemorative pins to all staff. Red, white and blue ribbons will be distributed to students who want to commemorate this day. • A documentary titled 9/11 Looking Back 10 Years was created by our TV production students. Copies will be available for teachers to use as a teaching tool. • On September 12th each building will include a personalized message written about September 11th and the importance of honoring the lives that were lost, the people that have volunteered their services and for the military personnel that continue to protect our country. The messages will focus on the importance of showing respect and creating a legacy by being a member of our community by helping others. Our programs bring an unusual combination of educational opportunities, business and industry partnerships and community involvement on both the staff and student level. The second phase of our project has been designed to focus on this unique combination and to encourage students to utilize the skills and knowledge gained from their course of study to make a difference by helping those less fortunate. Students will develop a better understanding of what it means to help others and to gain a sense of pride for a job well done if they are afforded the opportunity to utilize their career and academic skills. All of which address the employment needs of our community. The following organizations will be involved in order for this phase of our project to be successful: Veterans Affairs Hospital and Clinics Veterans Nursing Home Pallets R Us United States Army FealGood Foundation Suffolk County Police Department New York City Police Department Examples of student activities include: Trade classes (carpentry, trade electric, plumbing and heating, HVAC) will assist in building homes and outdoor furniture for disabled veterans. Early Childhood and Literacy classes will collect and distribute books for Veterans and Afghan and Iraq children. Technology programs will facilitate a cell phone recycling program and ship their collection to soldiers currently serving in the war. Arts and Communication classes will help create a float to be used in parades to honor local heroes. They will also create public service announcements and posters that can be utilized to honor American Heroes. Health related classes will collect medical supplies that can be used to help support Afghan and Iraq families with needed prenatal care and childbirth education. Supplies will be sent to an American doctor stationed in Afghanistan whose mission is to help reduce the number of mother and infant fatalities that occur during childbirth. Cosmetology and Barbering students will provide manicures, hand massages and haircuts to hospital patients and veterans living in nursing homes. Culinary Arts classes will provide restaurant quality meals and/or desserts for Veterans returning from service. We will participate in a variety of fundraising events including a car wash, bake sale and craft fair to raise money to purchase toiletry items for hospitalized and nursing home bound veterans. Staff, students, friends and families will not only have the opportunity to participate in the fundraising activities they will also be able to assist in creating and distributing care packages. To promote the Day of Service and Remembrance we will partner with our communications department. Our project will be posted on the Eastern Suffolk BOCES web and facebook pages. Students will write articles that will be submitted to each of our 51 component school districts. Posters displaying the partnerships that we establish will be displayed in their place of business and in each of our schools. We will also reach out to our local television news channels. We are committed to keep the legacy of the lives lost on September 11, 2001 alive. Community involvement enhances education and is the key to success. We are honored to pay tribute to those who have made sacrifices for our great country.