Erica Hyde, the teacher of the second grade class, said that she wanted to teach her students to be appreciative of what the troops do for our country.
Hyde has been close to a woman by the name of Linda Patty and her daughter Ashley for a while now. They actually got Hyde connected to this certain troop. Ashley’s boyfriend, Brett, is a member of the Marine troop that the class has been sending the goodies to.
After Hyde heard about how lonely the troop gets while overseas, she decided that she wanted her class to show them some appreciation and let them know that somebody is thinking about them.
“We didn’t want them to think that nobody was thinking of them,” said Hyde.
The class started out by just planning to send Brett some Christmas cards and small gifts during the Christmas season. The students sent cards, ornaments, small gifts and some of Brett’s favorite snacks and candies. Some of the students volunteered to bring in some dollar gifts to send along with the cards.
Once Brett received the gifts, he ended up sharing all of his gifts with the rest of his troop.
After Christmas, Ashley came back to visit the class and they started on the Valentine’s Day cards.
All of the students made an individual card to send for Valentine’s Day, but the class also made a big card that was from all of them.
The big card was made on a big piece of pink paper that read “Happy Valentine’s Day!” The students used their thumbs to make little hearts all over the card.
It usually takes the troop two weeks or a little more to receive their cards and gifts. Because of this, the class has already sent the Valentine’s Day goodies. They are now waiting on the thank you letter and picture that the troop is supposed to be sending once they receive their gifts.
Hyde explained that she has included a lot of curriculum with all of the fun. She has thrown in some patriotic lessons when the students are making things for the troop.
The class has even named their two pet fish in the classroom after Brett and Ashley. The bigger fish’s names is Brett and the smaller one’s name is Ashley.
Hyde said that they will be sending some more goodies around St. Patrick’s Day and Easter as well.
Brett, and the rest of his troop, hope to come back home in May and the class is hoping that the troop comes back in time for Brett to come visit the class before the school year ends.
If they get back in time, Hyde is planning on throwing a party in the classroom upon Brett’s visit.
The class also plans on sending some homecoming goodies to the troop before their return.
Hyde plans to do the same thing in her classroom next year even if for some reason she has to find a different troop to send to. She just thinks it is a great thing to do with the kids and they really enjoy it.
“We just love our troops,” said Hyde.
Morgan Clemones is a student at Pepperell High School and is interning at the Rome News- Tribune.