A Hero Story Time Beach Party

 A Hero Story Time Beach Party

Councilwoman Joann Ariola organized a Hero Story Time Beach Party on Sunday, July 7, bringing members of the FDNY, EMS, and NYPD, as well as military veterans, down to the sand on Beach 137th Street to teach kids about virtues like bravery, heroism, and sacrifice.

The event kicked off with the Plenge of Allegiance. Then, members of the FDNY, EMS, NYPD and military, including retired Army Colonel Tom Sullivan, all spoke to the kids in attendance about their roles. Councilwoman Ariola’s Chief of Staff Phyllis Inserillo applied patriotic temporary tattoos to kids’ hands and faces to celebrate the holiday weekend. Kids could also take home firefighter hats, American flags and resources from the FDNY. To an engaged audience of kids, Inserillo read the children’s book, “Fireboat,” by Maira Kalman, a story of the fireboat that was used to help out after 9/11. As a special surprise, the kids were treated to a water show from a real life FDNY fireboat out on the ocean at the end of the program.

“There is this recurring theme from some sections of the media that our heroes are somehow the villains. This is something we need to push back against,” Councilwoman Ariola said. “That’s why it’s so important to reach these children at a young age and let them interact meaningfully with those who keep us safe day in and day out. In doing so, we can build foundations that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

“It’s a pleasure taking part in Councilwoman Joann Ariola’s Hero Story Time events,” Thomas Sullivan said. “I can’t think of too many more important opportunities to engage our youth than reading and answering questions about public safety and patriotism. Their questions are precious and a reminder that we have a duty to protect them. Look for more events in the future!”

“Hero Story Time allows us to connect and strengthen the relationship between first responders and the community,” said FDNY EMS Lieutenant Robertson Marc, who represented the emergency medical services during the event. “It also offers a time to answer any questions and or concerns someone may have. I’m so happy to see how invested Councilwoman Joann Ariola is in the community she serves.”

Photos by Katie McFadden.

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