Thank you, heroes!

Chants of “Thank you!” rang out in front of Washington Elementary School on Monday afternoon, as students lined the street with signs of appreciation for their local heroes. 

Members of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, Mt. Lebanon Fire Department and Medical Rescue Team South Authority walked through the crowd giving high fives and fist bumps to the students, to show their own appreciation for what the youngsters had done for them—hosting a coffee and cookie giveaway for the community’s heroes Monday at Uptown Coffee.  

A Mt. Lebanon police officer gives fist bumps to students.
Mt. Lebanon’s first responders stopped by Washington Elementary to thank them for honoring them.

“Our first responders and crossing guards feel very honored to be recognized by the students from Washington Elementary School!,” police Chief Aaron Lauth said. “These past few years have been tough on everyone, but with the support of the community, we’ve battled through and continued to serve everyone in the best way we possibly can. Honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way, and it feels great to be recognized by the students with this special event!” 

Earlier this year, students at Washington Elementary School participated in a “Heroes for Heroes Week,” where they competed in a penny war challenge and raised $3,600. 

Fifth graders won the challenge and decided to use some of the money raised to buy coffee and cookies for first responders, crossing guards and medical staff.

“They’re learning how to give back to their community,” said PTA President Christina Shaffer. Students also donated food and snacks that were put into baskets and sent to local hospitals. 

The Washington PTA partnered with the school’s fifth grade teachers to organize the project. 

Firefighters stand in front of a sign thanking them.
Members of the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department enjoyed a cup of coffee and cookies, courtesy of Washington Elementary fifth graders.

The free coffee and cookies were much appreciated by the local heroes, who showed up at the school Monday afternoon, with their sirens blaring. 

“It’s nice to be recognized, especially by the younger kids,” fire Chief Nick Sohyda said. 

This is just the first part of the effort, as the students and PTA leaders decide how to spend the rest of the money.