Students write letters to soldiers

4:29 PM, Jan 31, 2012   |    comments
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Some soldiers in Afghanistan will receive care packages in the mail this Valentine's Day.

They're made with tender loving care by students at the First Lutheran School in North Knoxville.

The first graders there are working on an international project just in time for Valentine's Day.

"We are writing to a soldier over in Afghanistan who I actually grew up with in a small town in Illinois. We're writing to him and his Troop," First Lutheran teacher Lindsey Hofman explained.

"We're making cookies for Shawn," first grade student Denver Slifka said.

A picture of Shawn Carpenter in uniform is posted on the bulletin board in the classroom at kid level.

"We're making cards and we're making cookies and we're writing letters," first grade student Riley Davis said.

Annarose Sylvia read the letter she wrote: "Dear Shawn. My favorite month is February. What's yours? Mrs. Hofman told us you are having a birthday so happy birthday. Thank you for fighting for us. I also want to thank the other soldiers too. Thank you."

The students in Lindsey Hofman's class have already sent Shawn care packages for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"He gets our packages and he loves them. And he's been drinking our hot chocolate so it's been really great," Hofman said with a laugh.

The students also include cards and gifts for his fellow soldiers in a unit made up of people from across the world.

"This is a great witnessing tool for our class to tell others about how they love God and how much God loves them," Hofman said. "But it's also a great writing tool. Learning to write is such an important thing and they're learning new words and learning about different countries so this is a really great all around activity."

Riley offered what he knows about Shawn, "I know that he's a soldier and he works in the Army."

The students ask questions and tell the soldiers a little about themselves.

"I have a dog. And I love Jesus and God," Riley said.

The cookies and cards include xs and os for hugs and kisses and lots of messages of love.

"Letter writing is kind of becoming a lost art and I want them to know what letter writing is," Hofman said.

The project will last until the end of the year and probably continue with Mrs. Hofman's first grade class next year.

"Pray for the soldiers. Pray for all of them. They need our prayers," she said.

Denver put the finishing touches on a Valentine's cookie. "Looks like I'm done here," he said.

You can learn about the First Lutheran School this Thursday night at an open house.

It's from 6:30 to 8:00 at the school at 1207 Broadway in North Knoxville.

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