Zion preschoolers make Valentines with Veterans


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .Preschooler Necia Bunevich showed off a card she made for an active duty solider on Feb. 8 during the Valentines with Veterans program at Zion Lutheran Church Preschool.


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .The staff and students of Zion Lutheran Church Preschool posed with Poland-area veterans Vito Marafiote (center left) and Robert Clark (center right) after their Valentines with Veterans program on Feb. 9.


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .McKayla Moore looked proud of a Valentine's card she made during the Valentines with Veterans program on Feb. 9.


Neighbors | Sarah Foor .Shepherd of the Valley resident and World War II veteran Vito Marafiote (left) helped out Isabella Herner (right) with a Valentine's card during a "Valentines with Veterans" program at Zion Lutheran Church Preschool on Feb. 9. Shepherd of the Valley visited the preschool and helped make cards sharing Valentine's wishes for active duty soldiers.



An intergenerational craft time at Zion Lutheran Church Preschool on Feb. 9 helped share Valentine’s Day love with veterans and active-duty soldiers.

The Cornersburg church welcomed Vito Marafiote and Robert Clark, both veterans of World War II and residents of Poland Shepherd of the Valley, for its third annual “Valentines with Veterans” project.

The veterans and their new preschool friends worked together to make valentines for soldiers currently serving overseas.

Geniene Hankey, preschool administrator, said the event is a treasured tradition at the school and an important lesson for her students.

“We try and get the kids to understand how much the soldiers will appreciate getting messages of love while they are away from their families. It’s also great for the students to meet and chat with the veterans. They make wonderful connections with our preschoolers every year,” Hankey said.

Officials from Shepherd of the Valley brought decorations for the cards and a sweet treat to enjoy after the marathon crafting session was over.

The group created a large stack of decorated cards, many leaving signatures, drawings and stickers between the folds.

The students and staff of the preschool entertained the soldiers with a rendition of “I’m in the Lord’s Army” and gave a warm thank-you to Clark and Marafiote for their visit.

Kelly Stansloski, associate director of the Poland Shepherd facility, said the visit is a joy for all involved.

“I think our vets look forward to it as much as the preschoolers do. Everyone learns something new with intergenerational activities like today,” she said.