A teacher at St. Mary's Catholic School has received yet another award.
Jillian Lawson is a grade 4/5 teacher that started a Christmas letter-writing project in 2015, and was presented with the "Spirit of Military Families" coin from Moose Jaw's Military Family Resource Centre MFRC on Tuesday.
Lawson's husband and brother are in the military, so she wanted to be able to teach her students to show support to military members. Since starting the project, she has received a lot of attention and awards, but is still overwhelmed by the support.
"This is just above and beyond what I expected would happen from a simple, well, what I thought was a simple project in class, and guess the main word I can use to describe it is 'emotional'."
Lawson said she is also emotional about it because she will be moving away after the school year, but hopes the kids will continue to write members of the military. She said she understands why it has caught on so much.
"I think it's a whole mix. It's connecting students with the military and having them see the military as actual people. Connecting them one-on-one with different people who are deployed and then hearing about their lives back at home, and then making the connection that we're not that different from these people. And it's also the other way around. The soldiers who are deployed get something back from it too because they see that there are these children back at home that are thinking about them and that their work isn't going unnoticed or unrecognized."
Regan Gorski is the Executive Director of the Moose Jaw MFRC and presented the coin to Lawson. He said the letter-writing project was noticed by a few people and deserved the award.
"It's a nomination process. The nominations we had came from a few different Canadian Armed Forces spouses who are familiar with the work she's done. That's been in the last three months. Then it went to committee, and then ultimately to Ottawa for final approval, and that brings us to today."
Gorski was thankful that children are being taught about the importance of the Canadian military and to show kindness through little things, like writing letters.