Heroes on the Homefront: Area Schools - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Heroes on the Homefront: Area Schools

Several Chatham County schools are participating in the Adopt-a-Soldier program and are sending cards and letters to deployed military Several Chatham County schools are participating in the Adopt-a-Soldier program and are sending cards and letters to deployed military

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Kindergartners might not know where Iraq is. But Mrs. Whitney's class at Haven Elementary now feel like they know someone stationed there through its participation in the Adopt-a-Soldier program.

"I thought it was a great opportunity for them to understand what a valuable service they're doing for us,'' said Whitney. "We just try to teach them to be caring people and to do thoughtful things and really help each other and i just think this helped.''

Haven is one of many schools in Chatham County that has adopted soldiers in a project that includes writing letters and putting together care packages and teaches just as much about connecting with people as it does about the military.

The students have made cards for Nathan Shelly, a local marine deployed in Iraq, and at Christmastime, sent items that he and they, consider invaluable.

"I sent him hot tamales and some baby wipes because he couldn't take a bath in the desert,'' said Haven kindergartner Gregory Pinkney.

Mrs. Condon's second-grade class at Largo-Tibet Elementary sent three boxes of items their families donated to Pvt. Demarcus Clemons of the Army. And in four waves of letters, sent important messages, like Patrick Nelson's.

"I said I hope you feel safe,'' he said.

In messages they've received back, teachers have heard about the various feelings their students' letters bring to the soldiers of gratitude and warmth and a closeness to home that usually only comes from corresponding with family.

"He says that when we write to him,'' says Condon. "He shares it with all the soldiers who are with him and it means a lot to him.''

Another program at Largo-Tibet should also mean a lot. For the second time in three years, the school is collecting Pennies for Soldiers, 100 per student in all 26 classes, which will be used to buy phone cards for deployed military in a gesture that is as useful as it is thoughtful while teaching the same lesson that is follows.

"It's good,'' said Largo-Tibet fourth-grader Chris Polite. "To help soldiers when they help you have a free country.''

Reported by: Tim Guidera, tguidera@wtoc.com - Read more of Tim's stories here.

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