Horizons & Balmville Collaborate with West Point Staff Sgt to Honor Veterans and All Members of the US Military
Horizons and Balmville are collaborating to honor US Veterans and all members of our Military over the course of this school year. Scholars will explore Women & Newburghers in the US Military. Recently, Staff Sgt. Rivers, U.S. Army, West Point Band member and NECSD parent, had a captive audience when she was invited by HOH School Librarian, Mrs. Wright Jumpp to visit in person with HOH 5th graders. Mrs. Garcia-Omana & Ms. Rayford of Balmville and their 5th and 4th grade scholars respectively, logged on to participate. The Staff Sgt. read the story “Sarah Emma Edmonds Was a Great Pretender: The True Story of a Civil War Spy” by Carrie Jones. She was thoroughly impressed with our NECSD scholars, and noted, “What stood out to me was the wonderful questions that the students asked about military service today. It was clear they were able to connect a soldier in today’s uniform reading a story of past service.”
When the students saw Staff Sgt. Rivers in her uniform and her warm smile, it immediately grabbed their attention. They were curious and eager to learn more about the military. In a developmentally-appropriate manner, she informed the students on the different military branches and helped them to understand the specific roles of each. Some of the students did not know that there was a Space Force branch. She clarified misconceptions about the military. For example, a student thought everyone who joined the military had to fight in a war. She helped them to understand that there are different positions, jobs, or responsibilities that the military personnel have to do, not everyone has to fight.
The students found it intriguing that Staff Sgt. Rivers played in the band and wanted to know more about that. She was willing to share. They were able to understand that she was not only a military soldier, but she also had hobbies. This allowed the students to see the human side of the military professional. A Balmville student named Madison stated “My brother is in the military and I liked how Staff Sgt. Rivers said that when she was in training camp, she never gave up. I can relate because I will never give up.” Staff Sgt. Rivers is an inspiration.
This first event served as a springboard to HOH & Balmville scholars’ collaborative investigation which will include other guest speakers and projects. Mrs. Garcia-Omana’s class immediately got to work writing about the 5Ws (Who, What, Where, When and Why) of Veterans Day, which will serve as a resource for their peers. (See their pictures below.)
Where it all Began:
Staff Sgt. Chrissy Rivers reports that after watching the TODAY Show on March 2, 2022, she knew what her next career move would be after completing her military service. It was National Read Across America Day and TODAY host, Jenna Bush Hager was featuring School Librarian, Michell Wright Jumpp of Horizons-on-the-Hudson Magnet School. During the segment Mrs. Wright Jumpp’s words inspired Staff Sgt. Rivers and by early May she was enrolled in SUNY Buffalo’s Librarianship program. Staff Sgt. Rivers reached out to the District to see if she could observe and interview Mrs. Wright Jumpp for an assignment. What should have been one meeting turned out to be a year-long project entitled, Honoring Our US Military with close to 100 eBooks that can be viewed by clicking here.
By Mrs. Wright Jumpp (HOH), Mrs. Garcia-Omana & Ms. Rayford (Balmville) and Staff Sgt. Rivers (US Army, West Point).