Johnston's Barnes School students learn lessons of gratitude while packing goodie bags for local veterans


You’re never too young to learn gratitude.

The kindergarten classes at Johnston’s Sarah Dyer Barnes School packed bags of goodies and toiletries for veterans this week.

“Each student designed and drew a picture for a veteran,” said teacher Jen Pavao. “Then they packed them with snacks and other things for the veterans at OSDRI.”

The classes ultimately packed more than 40 bags, which were then delivered to Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI).

“Between both classes we were able to make 46 bags,” said teacher Olivia Soares.

Several students packed bags for neighbors or family members who served, and took the bags home with them to deliver in honor of Veterans Day.

“I think they need to know why we have Thursday off,” Pavao said on Tuesday morning, as the children crafted their drawings and packed the small white paper bags. “This helps them learn that there were older men and women who fought in wars and that’s why we have the privileges we have as Americans.”

In preparation for Veterans Day, the children read illustrated picture books like “Hero Dad” and “Veterans: Heroes in our Neighborhood.”

“By doing this, they also learn about doing something good for someone else,” Pavao explained. “This is about bringing kindness to someone who needs it.”

Little Samuel Howland said he was packing bags for his Uncle Zach and Grandpa Jim.

Student Mackenzie Roy sat smiling in Soares classroom drawing with crayons. She pointed to her picture.

“The only one who protects us from the bad guys is this guy here with the hat,” she said.

The students brought in the snacks and toiletries, donated by their families.

“We asked them, and a lot of the children have veterans or members of the military in their family,” Soares said. “We talked about how they fight for our country and to keep them safe.”


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