Fairfield elementary students cheer hospitalized veterans with cards

Students at Fairfield West Elementary learned the power of the pen by participating in a letter-writing campaign to area veterans who were patients of Christ Hospital.

The program and its students were recently honored by Christ Hospital officials during a ceremony at the Liberty Township hospital.

The Butler County school’s program was started three years ago and includes fifth-graders writing cards and poems to military veterans staying as patients.

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Christ Hospital officials also recently invited West students to sing and perform throughout the hospital on Veterans’ Day and at their veterans celebration.

Led by 5th-grade teacher Kristine Welsh, students started writing letters and last year during the Christmas holiday 4th graders created ornaments.

The students have also donated personal items such as lip balm, lotion and books to the hospitalized veterans.

This year the students’ efforts won them the hospital’s SMILES Award, which recognizes people who model the behaviors that create exceptional patient experiences.

Hospital volunteer and program coordinator Louis Sunderhaus, who reads the literary creations of the Fairfield West youngsters to patients, said “your students are certainly inspirations for us all and show us that the future is bright.”

“Fairfield West is certainly setting the standard and the bar high for other schools to follow in showing how important it is to give back to the community and to show generosity to people they do not know, said Sunderhaus.

Fairfield West Principal Missy Muller, said “our relationship with Christ Hospital and the veterans is an incredible opportunity for our students to learn and celebrate veterans.”

“It promotes a sense of community and that we all play a part in supporting and showing kindness to others,” Muller said.

“We are very blessed to have this strong relationship with Christ Hospital and the veterans. We will continue to do things for and with the veterans and Christ Hospital throughout the year and in the future,” she said.

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