Paradise Ridge Elementary thanks first responders


Students, parents and first responders attended the event at the Paradise Ridge Elementary gymnasium. Photo credit: Jessie Imhoff

Paradise Ridge Elementary held a remembrance event in their school’s gym for the Camp Fire anniversary.

Students participated in different performances for the event, such as reading the American Creed and singing “America the Beautiful.”

Many different people came out for this event, such as students and parents. First responders were also invited to the event, sitting in chairs toward the front.

Principal Ed Gregorio said in a small speech to the audience that this event was to celebrate and honor local heroes.

“Sometimes when we think about heroes we might get confused by what we see on TV,” Gregorio said. “When we think about heroes we might think about people in capes or people with shields or folks who turn green… that we all know is fiction and make-believe, those are not the true heroes. Our true heroes are those around us who work hard to make the world and our community a better place for all of us.”

Members from Mindful Littles, a group that offers social-emotional services to kids in communities, had student volunteers from the audience go over breathing exercises with the audience. Afterwards, the volunteers gave the first responder guests “breathing wands,” while a group of older kids gave the guests “thank you” cards.

A third-grade class sang a thank you song to the first responders.

“And for first responders we thank you/You protect us, keep us safe. We’re so thankful you were there for us last year on November 8,” the class sang.

Through this event, elementary students were able to give back to first responders and learn what it means to be a hero.

“All of us have the ability to be heroes,” Gregorio said. “Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference… Thank you veterans, thank you first responders, thank you to all of our community helpers and workers, thank you parents and teachers, and thank you students for everything that you’re doing… to make a difference in our community.”

Jessie Imhoff can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JessieReports