Home for the holidays – Dewey Elementary students reunite with their mom
by THOMAS MELVILLE
Published - 12/11/17 - 03:07 PM | 11809 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a good look at her daughter Jordan Hall, a third-grader at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a good look at her daughter Jordan Hall, a third-grader at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a a hug from her daughter Taylor Hall, a kindergartner at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a a hug from her daughter Taylor Hall, a kindergartner at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall hugs her daughters Taylor and Jordan Hall, students at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall hugs her daughters Taylor and Jordan Hall, students at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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In an effort to thank those who serve the country year round, the San Diego Unified School District launched the inaugural “Military Holiday Card Drive” this week and held a holiday homecoming for two students at Dewey Elementary, who were surprised by their mom returning from a Navy deployment.

The school also held the San Diego Unified True Blue Buddies “Military Student Bike Giveaway” where Santa flew in on a helicopter and then rolled out new bicycles for students.

But prior to St. Nick’s arrival, third-grader Jordan Hall and kindergartner Taylor Hall received their Christmas presents early, as their mom, Melissa Hall, walked out of a classroom and into the courtyard where the students were gathered for the bike giveaway.

Deployed on the U.S.S Pinckney since June, and not expected back until after the holidays, Yeoman-2nd Class Hall stepped into the sunlight and then sunk to her knees to envelope her daughters in hugs, kisses and joy.

“It was a rush of emotions,” Hall said. “I haven’t seen them in six months. I don’t always get to connect with them while deployed.”

Hall, who found out about the plan in August, worried she would ruin the surprise. “But everything went great. It’s so exciting to be home for the holidays. I guess we’re going to go decorate the house for Christmas,” said Hall, who lives at Naval Base Point Loma.

Throughout the year, San Diego Unified assures military families that their children will receive an education by providing them with a variety of resources and services catered to their unique needs. Almost every school within the district services a child whose parent or guardian is serving or has served in the armed forces.

The district offers military families services that help match them with similar educational programs they were enrolled in previously, as well as introductions to local military liaisons that can help with any issues or resources they may need. All district schools have military-friendly environments with programs, teachers and counselors trained to aid in the transition and adaptation of their incoming and outgoing military families.

San Diego Unified services the largest number of military-connected students in the state of California. Overall, San Diego Unified serves more than 13,000 military-connected children and six military bases within district boundaries.

To participate in the Military Holiday Card Drive, drop off signed holiday cards at San Diego Unified’s Central office (main lobby) at 4100 Normal St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, Dec. 15 (before noon).

As a thank you, those who donate a holiday card on Wednesday, Dec. 13 will receive a free ticket to the San Diego symphony’s holiday concert “Noel, Noel” on Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall (while supplies last).

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