Veterans Deliver Apples to District 196 Teachers & Staff for National Education Week – 40 yrs & Counting
Veterans from the Apple Valley American Legion Post 1776 have been delivering apples during National Education Week to the teachers and staff of ISD 196 for at least forty years, and there is no end in sight. As many as fifty Legion, Auxiliary, and Sons of the Legion members arrive at the post at 8am eager to begin their deliveries. “It’s the least we can do for the educators of our youth,” said one member of the Apple Delivery Team, “and it warms my heart to see the smile on their faces when they go to their mailbox and notice the apple waiting there.” The Veterans delivered apples to ALL district employees; Teachers, Bus Drivers, Custodians, Cooks, Administration staff and others. In total they delivered 4400 apples this past year.
Where does this tradition of giving apples to teachers originate? Well, it all started in the frontier days. Families of school children were responsible to feed and house their teachers. Giving the teacher an apple contributed to this responsibility and demonstrated appreciation for the teacher all at the same time. Teachers would receive as many of 50 apples from their students. Today, apples remain a popular way to show appreciation to a teacher.
These Veterans who gave their hearts and souls during the great wars of this country, continue to give of themselves for the benefit of others. When asked when this tradition will end, they simply reply, “It won’t.” So they pledge to come back each fall just before Thanksgiving, during National Education Week, to deliver apples to those people that meld and shape the youth of this wonderful country into strong, smart, and dedication young adults. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do, to show we care, and provide a network of support for these wonderful people.
So, the next time you see a teacher – give them an apple or tell them that you appreciate what they are doing. The next time you see a Veteran – give them a salute or tell them that you appreciate what they gave! The next time you see an apple – think to yourself, who do I appreciate? These are simple things we can all do to show our undying appreciation, just like the Apple Valley American Legion Post 1776 Members. Salute!
A.V. Post 1776 Historian