This week, Greenfield High School students began writing “thank-you” cards and holiday greetings during homeroom class to soldiers who will be leaving for Afghanistan in early January.
The soldiers are currently training in Plymouth, and in January, the students will be preparing care packages for them and sending them overseas.
"The stars have aligned and we have the exact number of soldiers being deployed as we have homerooms, so each homeroom will ‘adopt’ a soldier," said social studies teacher Adrienne McKeown, who is helping to coordinate the project. "All of our students will write a card or letter to a particular solider and will send him or her a care package in January."
McKeown, who coordinated the program along with committee members art teacher Jeremy Chupp, band director Evan Marlowe and math teacher Elizabeth Siebenlist, said the school wanted to use the holidays and homeroom to focus on service projects. and began working with the Greenfield High School ROTC to plan what it could do to say ‘thank you’ to soldiers.
The homeroom committee worked with Greenfield High School Air Force Junior ROTC commander Lt. Colonel Andrew Davis on the project. Davis used his contacts to find the names of deploying soldiers for the students to “adopt.”
The project is teaching the students an important life lesson, according to McKeown.
“We feel that it is important to build a sense of community and service with our students and feel that homeroom is a perfect place to do this,” she said. “We would like to honor those that have sacrificed so much for us. It is important for young people to understand the gift of giving thanks and doing things for others.
“So far, the staff and students I have talked with seem excited, especially since each homeroom will have a specific soldier that they will ‘adopt’ for December and January. It makes it more personal and special to them.”