NEW ROCHELLE, NY — At Jefferson Elementary School, being a hero can mean many things. Just ask the students.
“If somebody falls, I can help them get back up,” said second-grader Krista Arena.
“By returning something that was lost,” said her classmate, Matthew Munoz.
“Keeping the school clean,” said another, Koby Walker.
The students in Victoria Treacy’s class were writing their thoughts Tuesday on how to be a hero. They were putting them on construction paper rectangles that will become the “bricks” in one of two Walls of Heroes today. Indeed, students throughout the school were taking part.
The talk of heroes – a follow-up to Veterans Day – began on Friday when acting Principal Ken Levy led two flag-raisings – one for kindergarten through second-grade students and one for grades three through five. He also spoke to them about what it means to be a hero.
That led to the brick-writing exercise Tuesday. Wednesday, the students, with help from the Jefferson PTA, will assemble the paper bricks into the Walls of Fame – one for the younger students, one for the older.
Second-grader Gabriella Santiago listed several ways students can fit the bill.
“They can help people who are hurt, give them a seat on the bus, help a teacher, share their toys,” she said.
Classmate Abigail Torres explained why this was important.
“It can encourage people to start being nice to each other,” she said.
The students were doing so well with the idea that when Treacy was asked why the initiative was important, she quoted her young charges.
“When they were sitting on the mat, I asked them, and they said, ‘To inspire others who need help in making good choices,'” she said.