ATLANTIC CITY — Fifth-grade students will be able to experience the contributions of veterans and soldiers during a class trip to Washington, D.C., next month thanks to a donation from VFW Post 215.

On Friday, Greater Absecon Island Memorial Post 215 Quartermaster Roger Emmick presented the approximately 75 fifth-graders a check for $4,200 as part of the post’s educational outreach programs.

“Visiting Washington, D.C., in May is going to be an incredible day. Many of us may never have the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital,” said fifth-grader Rafa Recto.

Recto, 11, of Atlantic City, and her classmates greeted Emmick; his wife, Patricia, who is also a veteran and VFW member; and Post 215 Cmdr. Anthony Tibbrine during a gathering in the school’s library.

She said the students would visit various memorial sites in the nation’s capital next month, including the Vietnam Wall and Arlington National Cemetery.

“This is our nation’s heartbeat,” Recto said.

Emmick said the students will also have a chance to see the Korean War memorial, which he said was an eerie reminder of the sacrifices of the soldiers. He also had the students take a moment to remember Richmond Avenue School alumni and Army Spc. Eric Rivera, who died in Iraq in 2006.

According to Emmick, the post is also donating funds to the Chelsea Heights School, the Ventnor Educational Community Complex and for several $5,000 scholarships at Atlantic City High School.

“I know that funds in the schools have gone down and it’s very hard to do things like this,” Emmick said.

Richmond Avenue School reading specialist Brigid Hughes said the school was grateful to the VFW for providing this opportunity for the students.

“It’s something you really can’t measure because many of these children will not leave Atlantic City,” Hughes said.

The trip will take place at the end of May.

Contact: 609-272-7251 Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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