DENNIS TOWNSHIP – To recognize the community’s first responders on Patriot’s Day, Sept. 11, the Dennis Township Education Association PRIDE Committee organized teachers and students to show thanks by writing cards and bringing in treats from students, families and teachers.

Students from kindergarten through eighth grade wrote letters and drew cards thanking first responders for what they described as their hard work and sacrifice in keeping them safe.

Teachers and student volunteers put together care baskets from donated treats and then teachers and parents delivered the cards and baskets to the local first responders in Dennis Township, including the Dennisville, Ocean View and Belleplain Fire Companies, the Belleplain Rescue Squad, and the New Jersey State Police at the Woodbine Barracks.

The Dennis PRIDE Committee organizes and sponsors events to develop and strengthen relations between the school and community throughout the school year, according to chairwoman Kelli Turner, district speech therapist.

 “Our first responders are a very important part of our community and we want to show our respect and honor their commitment, dedication and selflessness in keeping our community safe and secure,” said Kim Holman, assistant chairwoman and special education teacher.

Turner also pointed out an increased presence of first responders in Dennis Township schools, ranging from fire company demonstrations to the role of New Jersey State Trooper Diana Wamsher, the district resource officer, in student activities and organizations.

“Having a greater role for our first responders in our schools gives students more exposure to what they do and what potential career options they have, and we want to show our appreciation for that as well,” Turner said. “Sometimes it’s also just nice to hear someone say thanks.”