For the last seven years, Northport K-8 School has built a strong bond and partnership with local veterans in Saint Lucie County. The program is called Veteran Partners In Education. Through the years, the Veteran Partners have served the children and families in a multitude of ways. Some examples of service to the school are, many classroom visits to talk about Patriotism and the military life, presented several living time lines, participation in the Purple Heart Memorial building, Read Across America guests, Northport commemorations for 9/11, Veterans Day and Memorial Day each year, Army One Presidential helicopter pilot visit, Korean War Armistice program, Salute to the Marine Corps birthday and many, many other events that bring the veterans into the school nearly every week.

Through data and meticulous record keeping, it has been determined that 15,305 students and families have been touched by the Veteran Partners program at Northport. On many visits, veterans will bring uniforms and hats for the students to try on. Recently, veterans Bill Arnold and Peter Popolizio, both Northport Senior Volunteers of the Year, with Mr. Popolizio also serving as the Saint Lucie County School Board Senior Volunteer of the Year for 2013-14, visited a particular student at Northport K-8 School. Aune Abdelquadar, seventh grade student on the Stingrays team, was rewarded with an authentic army veterans hat, complete with American flag pins and many other military insignia on the hat. Aune was rewarded with the hat because each time he see’s a veteran, his salute is stunning. His respect is unquestionable and outright moving. The veterans were thrilled to present Aune the hat and the students thought it was quite the remarkable occasion and were surprised by the visit in Mrs. Sandra Tyndale-Harvey’s class. Pictured are Peter Popolizio, Sandra Tyndale and Bill Arnold with Aune Abdelquader sporting his brand new hat.