Patriotism on display at Northeast School

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Northeast Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District has a special connection with the military. For the past year, students have been sending items to a Joint Task Force of members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. On Sept. 9, the favor was returned in a big way.
    
Naval Petty Officer First Class Josh Candon visited the school and presented a folded American flag that had flown during several of Task Force’s overseas missions, along with a certificate. It was to thank Northeast for an effort spearheaded by Maria Lievano, who teaches the bilingual kindergarten class, in which students sent hot chocolate, Girl Scout cookies, candy, cards, artwork and pictures to the troops. The Task Force also sent some pictures from its missions in Afghanistan and Africa, along with carved wooden animals, all of which are on display in the school’s lobby.
    
Kindergarten students, dressed in red, white and blue, saluted and then applauded as Petty Officer Candon entered the gymnasium for a small assembly. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “My County Tis of Thee,” Principal Dr. Pauline Collins spoke to students about the role that the military plays in the United States.
    
“We’re teaching them about patriotism and to honor our troops,” Dr. Collins said, noting that a few kindergartners have parents serving in the military. “We try to educate kids about the global community. They’re not too young to learn that there’s a bigger world outside their home and school.”
    
Petty Officer Candon’s visited coincided with Patriot Day. That afternoon, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, students placed small American flags in front of the school.