REED CITY — A hero is an ordinary person facing extraordinary circumstances and acting with courage, honor and self-sacrifice and last week, Reed City elementary students learned not all heroes wear capes.
GT Norman Elementary honored those in public service — firefighters, police and emergency medical response personnel — with songs and other performances during the 4th Annual Heroes Day on May 29.
“This is all about thanking the men and women who are in public service and this is a way for even the children to look differently at moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas and what kind of job that they’re in,” Special Education Teacher Pam Bloom said.
Bloom started the event four years ago and it has grown to include much of the school’s elementary classes.
Bloom said the idea came to her while she and her students were going through a set of reading materials on superheroes.
“And I asked myself, ‘Why don’t we honor our real-life heroes that are right here in our community?'” she said.
By giving students a chance to interact with those who help keep the community safe, Bloom said the event introduces the students to the jobs emergency response personnel do, which they may want to do someday
“And when they actually see them and they’re wearing the uniforms but when we get them here in front of the whole crowd and they realize ‘hey this is a big deal,’” she said.
As for the first responders, it’s a good way to say thank you, Bloom said.
“Most would just say ‘I’m just doing my job’ but they’re also putting their lives on the line in a lot of these jobs. So it’s always good to say thank you and we need to have our kids realize that and start at a young age. When you teach them that they will go forward and they will grow up into adults that will continue to do that.
Another way the students chose to express their thanks to emergency personnel was by serving them cookies, juice and other refreshments.
In the days running up to the event, students also managed to raise $200 by selling suckers at school, which they donated to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit along with snacks and other supplies for the police dogs.