Canyon Ridge Veterans Heritage Project Partnership
On September 9, 2020 middle level learners from Canyon Ridge School offered a presentation of patriotic challenge coins and newly published books during the September 9, 2020 governing board meeting.
For nearly four years, students from Canyon Ridge School have actively participated as authors and members in the Veterans Heritage Project (VHP). This patriotic program, which brings young people and Veterans together to share the experiences of those who have served our nation, allows learners to interview Veterans, formulate essays and articles, and publish the results in an annual hardbound publication entitled, “Since You Asked.” Volumes are then purchased by community members and all stakeholders join for a book signing and patriotic celebration each spring. To immortalize the important work of Veterans and students, the volume becomes a part of the Library of Congress in Washington DC and recorded interviews are archived for the national Veterans History Project.
“The partnership between our school and the VHP has resulted in ten documented Veteran interviews and eight published accounts of combat experiences over a four year period,” states Canyon Ridge School VHP Chapter Advisor Christopher Raso.
“As a Social Studies teacher, I have been deeply impressed by the dedication of the VHP organization and the loyalty our students have towards our Veterans and the archiving process. This program brings history alive for students and offers deeper insight into our civil liberties and those who defend them.”
Over fifty middle level learners have applied their talents, time and heart to the VHP effort at Canyon Ridge. Each year, they present challenge coins to the district governing board and copies of the latest VHP book to the leadership team. The event also celebrates the contributions of various community based organizations that support the school with financial donations to cover the cost of publishing. Among these outstanding groups are the Arizona Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10695 in Sun City West, and the Arizona Daughters of the American Revolution.
“Our goal has been to remember how important American Veterans really are and all that they have done for us,” said Canyon Ridge alumni Grace Ferencik.
“We owe them so much more than we could ever repay and the Veterans Heritage Project at Canyon Ridge has provided us a way to give something back to our heroes.”