Bethel Park School District (BPSD) Project

 

The Sons of Post 760, have gone back to school, so to speak...we the Sons of The American Legion Post 760, have reached out to the BPSD to support our youth.  In collaboration with Ms. Janet O'Rourke, Director of Secondary Education, we have provided materials about patriotism and what it means to be an American. She then disseminates these materials to her  Facilitators in our school district.  The materials, which include Legion scholarship applications and essay contests, specific to secondary students, DVD's on the subject of the flag and patriotism which will be used perpetully in our middle schools, and finally, rulers, coloring books, and stickers to start the primary grades in the right direction.  Our own Joe Cevarr, Senior Vice Commander, will be putting together a panel of judges, to judge the essays.  We as a group, felt it important to let our students better understand, what it means to grow up as an American.  Some students know first hand, since family members have served our country, or, may be serving now.  Other students may not have that intimate knowledge.  Patriotism, is not just about going to a Memorial Day parade, or lighting some sparklers on the fourth of July.  Men and women have battled bravely, some giving the supreme sacrifice, so we may live our lives as we choose. 

Additional news on the school front.  BPSD held a contest with a theme of "What it means to be an American."  Students worked on indidual projects, then made a presentation to a judging panel.  The winnining entry was a collage made by a student, which was his vision of the theme.  Ms. O'Rourke, on behalf of the BPSD, has extended an invitation to the Sons, to attend the school board meeting to be held February 25th.  At this meeting,the winning student has expressed his desire to "gift" his work, to be diplayed at our Post.  Our efforts, are coming to fruition.  Thank you to all of the students who participated in this contest.

Submitted by John Dunbar

 

Presentation of winning project to
Post 760 representatives

On 25 February 2014, the winning project of the "What it's like to be an American" was presented to representatives of the American Legion Post 760, Bethel Park, PA at the general meeting of the
Bethel Park School District(BPSD).

From left to right the representatives are: Bonnie Wilson, President,Ladies Auxiliary Post 760; John Normile, Commander, Post 760; Don Weis, Commander, Sons of the American Legion, Post 760; Mike Shay, Finance Officer, SAL, Post 760; Antonio Fontana, winning student; John Dunbar, School Liaison, Post 760; Janet Normile, Vice President, Ladies Auxiliary

     The Sons of Post 760 have gone back to school...so to speak.  We are in collaboration with the BPSD, through Ms. Janet O'Rourke, Director of Secondary Education.  One of the purposes of the Sons of the American Legion is help foster the growth of youth.  At Post 760, we have formed this alliance with the BPSD to promote good citizenship and patriotism.  Antonio Fontana, a 13 year old student in the enrichment program, at the Independence Middle School participated in an assignment, Kevin Connolly devised this assignment.  Jenn Makel, Social Studies teacher was also very involved.  Ms. Makel involves her students with class projects to support our troops.  Mr. Connolly's students were to choose a word. The word Antonio chose was "Liberty."  Using Photoshop, he created a poster consisting of  silhouettes of soldiers representing our troops past and present.  Also included, are the liberty bell, a bald eagle, the White House, fireworks, and a silhouette of a person on a mountain top with raised arms,signifying freedom. The title of his creation is "American Hero." And it ends with the phrase, "Life without Liberty is like a body without Spirit." This was the winning project.  He then created posters of this and they have made it around the world to our deployed troops.  He also penned a letter to President Obama, and included one of his posters.  He indicated that he would like to "gift" his poster to our Post.  We were pleased and humbled to accept this.  It is now hanging in a place of honor at Post 760.  At a future time we are going to hold an official "unveiling" party, which will include Antonio, and his family.  We would like to thank Antonio's  parents for raising such a fine young man, and we're hoping that his patriotism becomes infectious with his peers.  The fruits of our labor with the Bethel Park school program have been realized through this, we hope there is more to come.

Submitted by John Dunbar   

Youth Achievement Dinner

Sponsored by The American Legion

6 April 2014

At this dinner, three young men from Bethel Park scout Troop 215 stood tall as they were recognized for achieving the highest rank attainable in scouting, that of Eagle Scout.

    

                        Joshua Como                Bryce DeNardo                Jack Brownfield                       

These young men are the first youth ever to be recognized,from Bethel Park, at the annual achievement dinner. A good representation from Post 760 was on hand to witness the event including our District Commander, our Post Commander, members of the Sons, the Legion Riders, and the Ladies Auxiliary. Our youth are very important to us, and we wish these young men much success in their future endeavors.

Submitted by John Dunbar

 

 

      

     

The Sons of the American Legion, Post 760, Bethel Park held a “unveiling” party honoring Antonio Fontana, 13 of Bethel Park for his creation titled “Liberty” which he gifted to our Post.  The celebration was held 21 June 2014, and was attended by his family and friends.  A teacher, Jennifer Makel, was also in attendance.  Jennifer is very involved with her students teaching them that without our brave men and women, who have given up their lives here in the states, we could not live free.  Antonio’s project was made into posters and circulated around the globe to our deployed troops.  KDKA was on hand to interview Antonio as to why he chose to do this.  Our Commander, Don Weis and I presented Antonio with a Sons membership to show our appreciation for his gift to the Post.  Antonio is the first of Bethel Park students to embody the concept that our Post set out to achieve, two years ago under the direction of Commander Weis, working hand in hand with the school district to promote patriotism, and becoming good citizens.  We certainly hope that the spirit of Antonio’s patriotism becomes infectious among his peers, and others will step up for the cause.  When Antonio turns 15, if he chooses, our Post will send him for a week, tuition free, to “Boys State.”  This is a program where students learn the inner workings of government and business.  The students create a fictitious government and elect one another to become governor, Senators, Representatives, etc. to see if they can make their government work smoothly.  This is a phenomenal opportunity, and looks very good on a student’s college application.

 

Submitted by John Dunbar

Youth Achievement Dinner

Sponsored by The American Legion

19 April 2015

                   

At the 18th Annual Youth Acheivement Awards dinner this year, again, Post 760 was well represented.  We had members of the Post, Ladies Auxilliary, Sons, and the Legion riders in attendance.  This year we were pleased to have as our guests, Mr. Charles Youngs, NBCT, Curriculum Facilitator/Teacher of English And Communication Arts as well as Ms. Courtney Falce, Honors English teacher.  Mr. Youngs and Ms. Falce are going to help prepare the future Bethel Park students for their entries into next years various awards, and hopefully a scholarship to go along with the coveted medallion and certificate, both of which look very good on a college application.

In picture 1 above from left are: Anna Marsh with Commander Allen; Anna Marsh, although a student at Moon School District, was sponsored by the Ladies Auxilliary of Post 760, to attend Keystone Girls State. picture 2 are: John Dunbar, Mr.Charles Youngs, Charles Erny, Commander Allen, and Ms. Courtney Falce; picture 3 are: the Eagle Scouts, 3 of which were sponsored by Post 760, they are Patrick Raymond, David Hurey, and Nicholas McGowan; picture 4 are : Ms. Courtney Falce and John Dunbar.  I was filling in Courtney on the developing partnership with our Post and the Bethel Park School District.  In her words, she told me "It's awesome" to see how we are working in concert with the school to promote the good ideals of what it is like to live free and be able to have one's own opinions without fear of reprocussions.  Charles and Courtney both appreciate our Post's desire to enlighten the students, our future leaders, with a strong moral compass, and the ability to be free thinking.; picture 5: is that of Patrick Raymond giving his acceptance speech; picture 6: is the centerpieces that were made by the Allegheny Committee Ladies Auxilliary, the flowers contained within the cage represent the beauty of our youth about to blossom, and venture off into the world to make their mark, the crystal dove on top of each cage represents the dove of peace, and peace can never be caged.

Submitted by John Dunbar

 

Speaking to Students of Indepence Middle School

 1 May 2015

      

     

     

As is evidenced above, a grand time was had by all, as we spoke to approximately 100 students at IMS. Ms. Jenn Makel, Social Studies teacher there, reached out to me to see if I could put together a panel of service people to speak with the students about valuable life lessons learned, and how they transferred into life. There was a very lively question and answer period after each of the speakers.

On hand to speak were Mr. John Dunbar, School Liaison, Post 760MSgt. Frazier, and SrA Fabus of the 171st Refueling Wing, Air National Guard, SSgt. Justin Mulholland of the U.S. Air Force, and Ms. Haya Eason of the U.S. Marines.

We were pleased to hear that the Conquerors team 7C from Social Studies classes, have devoted themselves to supporting our troops and Vets.Specifically they have supported; PA Army troops stationed in Romania, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. Vetrans at th Allegheny VA hospital.

We were very inspired by these young students, giving of their time to support our troops and veterans.

I wish to heartily thank all who voluteered their time to come and speak with the students. This is the kind of positive impression, that hopefully, will guide our youth in the right direction, as they ARE our leaders of tomorrow.

Submitted by John Dunbar

 

Meeting with three Bethel Park Seniors selected for recognition

                                                                                            Jessica Cook                                 Luis Raul ToledoTeran                                  Shannon Brady       

                                                                                            

                            

On Friday 22 May 2015 a contingent from Post 760 went to Bethel Park High School, to meet with the three seniors that we had chosen to recognize on the school Awards night.The meeting was facilitated by Mr. Charles Youngs NBCT Curriculum Facilitator/Teacher of English & Communication Arts, who thought it would be beneficial to meet with the young people in their environment prior to presenting them their awards. Ms. Jessica Cook, who is very active in extracurricular activities is also the President of Student Government and if that weren't enough, she is also an Honor student. Jessica was able to give us a tour of the SGA office to show us where the magic happens. Jessica will be attending John Carrol University in the fall. Raul Teran, gave us a tour and an explanation of his baby, the B.P. Hawks T.V. studio. Raul has devoted heart and soul to this studio. He explained it felt like his safe place, for when he was thirteen and going to become a freshman in high school, his father had a job change, and he and his father had to leave their home and family in Mexico, and it was in Bethel Park where they ended up. Raul did not know a word of English, that combined with the difficult transition process that a young person typically encounters moving into high school life, did not deter him. He poured his energy into the school T.V. studio, and quickly endeared himself not only to the teachers, but also his fellow students. Raul has received a full scholarship to Point Park University in the fall, where he will be in Film Study. Shannon Brady is the recipient of the very first Legion Riders scholarship. The $500.00 award will be sent directly to the school of her choice, which is the Penn State University.The Riders said they had a very difficult decision to make after reading the essay submissions. The topic question asked; "What freedom do I enjoy most and why?" Shannon wrote about what the freedom of speech means to her. It was evident that she applied a critical thinking process in her answer. She explained that it is not only important to be able to have your own opinion, and have the rite to express it, but you also have to be tolerant of other peoples rite of expression. We talked about that further, and I asked her how she feels if someone doesn't share her same opinion and tries,through some negative rhetoric, to denounce her opinion. She said, "Then, we can agree to disagree."

       It was truly a pleasure meeting with these young people, and seeing the passion in their eyes, about their futures. If their peers are anything like them, I feel that we are going to be in good hands, in the future.  

Submitted by John Dunbar  

 

Youth Achievement Dinner

Sponsored by The American Legion

17 April 2016

                         

     Joe Campion                   Kelsey Tischler                 Dave Erzen

                                                 

                                                                          Pictured L-R are Mr. Charles Youngs,                                                                                  Mr. John Dunbar and Ms. Janet O'Rourke

At this years Youth Achievement Awards Dinner Post 760 was once again well represented with members of the Post, Ladies Auxilliary, and Sons. We were accompanied by special guests Mr. Charles Youngs, Curriculum Facilitator/Teacher of English & Communication Arts and Ms. Janet O'Rourke, Director of Secondary Education. It was particularly enjoyable to have Ms. O'Rourke present, as she was my first contact in the Bethel Park School system when Post 760 began it's school program. She was in awe of all of the talented youth in Allegheny County, especially those students from Bethel Park. It was a proud moment as their names were announced and they came forward to accept their awards. She remembered when she was their principal in the fifth grade. This year our Post sponsored the most Bethel Park students that we ever have. This is testament to the outstanding work being done by our Post reaching out to our community's youth, and for Mr. Youngs giving us his unwaivering support. He has helped us to reach into so many layers of the high school. He truly has become our biggest aly, and words cannot describe our appreciation for him.

The students that were awarded from Bethel Park this year were Joe Campion, he won two awards; one for the Eagle Scouts and one for the Essay Contest. Kelsey Tischler won for athletics. She is a remarkable young woman, who has a great sense of humor. Her sport is Varsity football. Yes, you are reading that right...she was the place kicker for the Bethel Park Varsity football team. Before she was called forward to accept her award, I told her that I wanted to get a picture of her receiving it. She asked me "Do I need to give a speech?" I told her NO. The first recipient got their award, stepped to the microphone and proceeded to give a short acceptance speech. Kelsey turned to me and said, "I thought you told me NO speech!" I told her, "I lied." I just asked her that she give recognition to Post 760 for sponsoring her, as I take her picture. Well, she got even with me, when she received her award and passed out her thank you's, she then gave a big shout out to Post 760, and flashed me a big smile. I was so stunned that she remembered what I had asked her to do, that I forgot to take her picture. We had to take it after the festivities were complete. Also, Dave Erzen was awarded for his Academic prowess. And Jonathan Engel received recognition for his participation in the Oratorical competition, unfortunately he could not be there to accept. All in all it was a truly great evening for everyone.

Submitted by John Dunbar 

 

The mission of the Sons is to support veterans and their families, and the policies of our parent organization – The American Legion.

Virtually everything that involves the Sons could be grouped into three areas:

Support for veterans and their families
Promoting patriotism and Americanism
Promoting programs which benefit the youth of our country.



     © 2017
     American Legion Post 760    2409 Bethel Church Road    Bethel Park, PA 15102    412-835-9690




 

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