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Joe's Day of Service 2019

Joe's Day of Service 2019
Joe's Day of Service IllustrationEach Memorial Day people often wonder what they can do to be more patriotic. Some of us even feel guilty because we shopped, barbecued and beached...and came away without any real opportunity to express our appreciation for America’s fallen heroes.

This year one event teachers are planning on having will be one of the most impactful and educational field trips for our high school students. Although this may not be your typical run of the mill, fun field trip, we believe that our students will walk away with a new sense of pride, purpose, and a more meaningful self-respect for themselves and others...especially those who have served and given the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Nation.

May 29th is our district-wide ‘Joe’s Day OF SERVICE’ initiative. Joe’s Day OF SERVICE is about community service; where students and the Comsewogue Community pledge to give back. This project was inspired by Dr. Rella’s spirit and belief that students and community members can improve the lives of others, and their own lives, by working together. One example is the ‘Calverton Project’ which was created by students in our consortium program but is available to all students at the high school.

After applying to be OF SERVICE at Calverton Cemetery, part of our National Cemetery Administration, Comsewogue students have been accepted to assist with a very special task. Management at Calverton have told us that many of the tombstones for our fallen soldiers do not receive full sunlight one a daily basis. Because of this, some of the tombstones start to develop mold and become discolored. Since The United States upholds very high standards at our National Cemeteries, they have selected us, and will allow our Comsewogue students to do the very honorable job of beautifying and cleaning the tombstones on this special day- on this very special hallowed ground. It certainly will not be fun, and might even be monotonous and challenging...perhaps even boring. It will also take some good old fashioned “elbow grease” and require hard work; especially when they reflect upon exactly who they are doing this for, and see the names and information as they are working on each tombstone. This year some of our students will be selected to escort the family members of Veterans, who are coming from around the NYC area, perhaps for the first time, to visit the grave of their fallen family member. Some may need assistance to walk, or perhaps to read or even translate the headstone into their native language. Surely a few tears will be shed.

We feel that this act of kindness, selflessness and patriotism will be extremely powerful to our students! Hopefully, the impact will take a student outside of themselves (and away for their cell phones) and be educated, inspired, and humbled by giving service to others

During this time they will get a chance to reflect and think about how other men and women of all ages, backgrounds, faiths, races and creeds have laid down their lives for each and every one of us. We realize that this is quite different than the standard Barbecues, store-wide sales and beaching that we all have become accustomed to around Memorial Day.

Our students may even have to stop, respectfully remove their hats, and bow their heads as young (not much older than they are) fallen soldiers might be carried by accompanied by their families to be laid to rest on that day. This field trip is like no other they have ever, or will ever experience. We will be giving special honor to our community's fallen airman, Dashon Briggs from Port Jefferson Station, whose children will be attending our schools next year. One of our students, Ava Pearl, is doing her project with the creation of a portrait for the family, which will be placed in our schools so his children, and all the students may see that he was a hero who died so “That others may live.”

Another project that day some teachers and students are planning will culminate in a walk to fund-raise for a student in our high school whose family is having financial distress due to his recent diagnosis and treatment for leukemia.

Teachers have the opportunity to “Plug In” by creating their own Project Based Learning activity that tie into their own curriculum or joining in the many activities around the district, all service projects for our local community.

Local and national news media outlets and politicians will be attending, as well as members from 106th Airlift Wing.

If you would like any more information, please feel free to contact Andrew Harris in whatever way is most convenient for you:

Email: [email protected]
Phone or Text: 631-428-2530
Twitter: #JDOS2019
Facebook: Joe’s Day OF SERVICE

Let’s do it for Joe!

Joe's Day of Service Illustration
Joe's Day of Service Illustration