Students welcomed Francess "Myrph" McMahon, founder of Stand With Me Assistance Dog Team Training, and one of her dogs to their annual Veterans Day assembly on November 8, 2023. She was accompanied by graduates of her program, Jeff, a veteran, and his dog "Abby Ann." Myrph and Jeff both shared the mission of Stand With Me, which serves veterans with service-related mental health disabilities to help them train their own dogs to be their service dogs. In addition, they assist veterans with obtaining a canine candidate for the program if they do not already own a dog.
They also accepted a donation of over $764 to Stand With Me that the students raised with a Coin Drive that ran October 16 - November 6. This donation will help fund training, equipment, and the graduation of veterans and their service dogs. The check was presented by fifth-grader Avery Card, with other members of Student Council taking leadership roles in the Assembly. Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Chorus performed, singing "The National Anthem," and Hellen Zhang came over from the middle school to play "Taps." In the military, "Taps" signals the end of the day, and it is played alone to honor service members who have passed away.
In addition, homemade "thank you" cards for veterans at the NYS Veterans Home at Oxford made by ARE students were collected to be mailed. Students also created beautiful poppies in Art class, which signify remembrance and have become a symbol of respect for those who have served in the military, to display around the school.