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Words of thanks can go a long way, as Wantagh Elementary School fourth graders in Samantha Barrett’s class have learned. The community conscience students joined their teacher in a campaign called Project Thank You, demonstrating their appreciation to local firefighters and healthcare workers at Cohen Children’s Medical Center and Elmhurst Hospital, who have served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic each day.

Ms. Barrett explained that the impetus for the program came after the students watched videos and read about coronavirus and brainstormed ways in which they, as a class, could help in the community in a safe way. Ms. Barrett and her friend Ilana Sussman, a third grade teacher in the half Hollow Hills School District, decided to organize Project Thank You.

Project Thank You is an opportunity for students to send banners with children’s artwork to honor those who are fighting the pandemic on the front lines. Students downloaded a page on a website to color or created a banner on their own. The students then took a photo of their banner and sent it to their teacher, who had a picture collage made on a 2x4 foot vinyl banner. The banner was then sent to hospitals of their choice.