Kindergarten Pen Pals Brighten the Day for Soldiers Overseas

Students at Fostertown ETC magnet school in the Newburgh enlarged city school district recently participated in the letters from home program.

"It was exciting to open up the dialogue about what we should all be grateful for and refreshing to see the kids reach their own conclusions and realize it's each other. We talked about how the men and women serving our country might feel about being away from home for the holidays.  The compassion they all began to feel for soldiers they'd never met was overwhelming. With the help of a class parent we located a group of soldiers in Afghanistan who would be away through the holiday season. The students drew pictures that they thought would brighten the soldiers’ holidays and included a message to spread cheer. After sending the letters, the students received a thank-you reply. Also inside, was a photo of the handwritten letters hanging in the soldiers’ living quarters. We're told that the children proudly admire these pictures in their classroom daily."

In order for 5 and 6 year old students to develop a solid base of knowledge in social studies the instruction has to be both broad and personal.  In a time of such hardship for so many in our community, I wanted to show my students that they have the power and ability to make a difference. Having received a letter back, this was a perfect example of that and students really responded to the reciprocity.

HappyHudsonValley would like to thank Miss M and Miss Hawes for this inventive and rewarding lesson! We also noticed the words 'Happy Holidays' written in 5-year-old stylings so, we'd like to commend your student's progress!  The project was completed as part of the Letters from Home Program.

For more information on the 'Letters to Home Project' you can visit them on the web.

  Students: Maximus Calvert and Emily Salazar. Press Release by Kerry Butrick. Kerry is the media relations specialist for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District.