Education

Students write, share local veterans’ stories

FORT KENT, Maine — Some Fort Kent Community High School students recently visited with local veterans as part of a community service project.

Lorie Voisine, CHS English teacher for grades 10 and 11, had heard earlier from Crosswinds Residential Care Facility activities coordinator Patti Perreault Voisine, who asked if she had any students interested in interviewing and creating an article about three of her resident veterans. This was to become part of a veteran recognition ceremony she would host at Crosswinds on Nov. 9.

Community High School students Anthony Fernandez, left, and Samantha Gagnon, right, talk with George Dumond, son of veteran Claude Dumond. The students interviewed local veterans and wrote their stories, which they presented during a ceremony on Nov. 9.
(Courtesy of Lorie Voisine)

As it turned out, five students volunteered to do so. Students understood this project was above and beyond their regular academic responsibilities, but would qualify for community service time. Since there were more students interested in the project than there were veterans at Crosswinds, Lorie Voisine reached out to the Forest Hill activities coordinator Brook Saucier, who found two veterans at that facility who agreed to work with the students.  

On Friday, October 12, the students and Mrs. Voisine headed out to the two facilities to meet with the veterans. There, they completed interviews to gather information to construct articles. One of the students was not able to attend, so Anthony Fernandez agreed to interview the two veterans at Forest Hill, Korean War Veterans Theodore Thibodeau and Roger Kelly.

“It was clear that Anthony was up for the task as he had his recording gear in tow,” Lorie Voisine reported. “The other three students went to Crosswinds, where Samantha Gagnon interviewed World War II veteran Claude Dumond, Aryan Patel interviewed World War II veteran Alberie Nadeau, and Jaren Hartt interviewed Korean War veteran Philip Dumond.”

Students then worked with Mrs. Voisine to complete the articles before and after school, and also during Warrior times and advisory periods. The teacher contacted Patti at the Crosswinds facility, who worked with the veterans to gather any clarifying information needed to complete the project.

With the articles in hand, complete with pictures and titles, the students attended the Crosswinds veterans recognition celebration to present their work to their respective veterans.

During the event, they honored the veterans by reading their article to the attendees. They also stopped by the Forest Hill facility to present their projects to those veterans. The veterans were very appreciative of the time the students spent with them to capture their stories.

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