Wonderful morning recently in the Northport Media Center as we work through our “Gold Star Family Education Week!” Two courageous Gold Star moms, Linda Schuman and Karen Zook who both lost sons in recent years visited the Media Center to help educate our students about key qualities that help our community and families instill attributes that make awesome citizens. The women gave solid examples of the words: integrity, sacrifice, empathy, service, commitment, honor and teach. Ian Zook, Karen Zook’s son, gave the “Ultimate Sacrifice” for our country in Iraq and Jordan Schuman, Linda Schuman’s son, gave the “Ultimate Sacrifice” in Afghanistan. Both women used the time to educate and to bring awareness to our children. The program will continue with two more sessions available on designated days from 9:35-10:15 am. It is notable that Ian Zook was a Northport alumni. There was no greater honor than to listen to these moms and understand the courage that it took for them to talk to our children. Special thanks to Mrs. Wilson, Dr. Woodworth, Ms. Hamblin, Mrs. Kovich and Ms. Lusardi for bringing the students to the sessions.
Students are learning that Gold Star Families are families who have lost a loved one during active military duty. These families are made up of someone’s son, daughter, husband, brother, or sister and its incredible the number of students who are responsive to this program and know someone who serves our country in the military. A memorial is being built in Veteran’s Memorial Park in Port Saint Lucie to serve the Treasure Coast families who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Teaching our children is the only way for them to comprehend the magnitude of what many sacrifice for our way of life. Our teachers have collected nearly $300 by wearing jeans on two designated days. On the first of December, Northport, Chili’s, local veterans and Gold Star Mothers will form a coalition with a special dinner at Chili’s restaurant in SLW. Ten percent  of each tab will be donated to the Gold Star program.

Some of the children are called to get involved. Pictured is 3rd grader, Rashad St. Louis who dug deep and gave the first $1 towards the Gold Star Memorial. All were overwhelmed when he stood up to dedicate his donation to Gold Star Families.