NewsDepth A+: Kirtland Elementary Celebrates First Responders

This week’s NewsDepth A+ winners are honoring the first responders in their community. 

The attacks of 9/11 had a long-lasting and far-reaching impact on American life. They shined a light on the often-overlooked work from first responders, such as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians. At Kirtland Elementary, the students hold an annual parade to say thanks to first responders. This week’s NewsDepth A+ goes to the students of Kirtland Elementary for saying thanks to the helpers in their community. 

"This is a great opportunity for us to thank the first responders from three different communities. In this year's parade, we had four police departments, a fire department and our own school resource officer." Principal Katy Nagaj told us. 

Before the pandemic, the parade was indoors and the first responders walked through the building giving high fives and saying hello. Over the past two years, the parade has been outdoors. 

The first responders drive through campus in their vehicles and are greeted with applause from the nearly 500 students and the 50 staff members of Kirtland Elementary. Many of the students held posters and waved flags. The students also wore red, white and blue to show their patriotism and to honor the first responders. 

"Now that the parade is outdoors, the first responders bring their vehicles. The students really like seeing the fire trucks and police cars." Ms. Nagaj added. 

"It's really important to take the time to say thank you to the role models and local heroes in our community." Superintendent Chad VanArnhem said. Following the parade, the students delivered cards, letters, and posters to the first responders. 

This week’s NewsDepth A+ goes to the students at Kirtland Elementary School for saying thanks to the first responders from Kirtland, Lakeland, Waite Hills, and Kirtland Hills. 

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.

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