The “Afghanistan Project” is a care-package-for-soldiers activity that was initiated by a group of 1st-grade students and blossomed into an on-going relationship with a battalion of American soldiers in Afghanistan. The project enriched the curriculum, providing opportunities in math and writing that were authentic and highly motivating. The students first found out what the soldiers wanted and needed – hard candy, lip balm, games, gum, cough drops, individual drink mixes, letters, and holiday decorations. Then they raised money from a school-wide pretzel sale. During the sale, students collected and counted the money, which was a great math lesson. The class also asked the whole school community (students, staff, and parents) to send in donations and personal letters for the care packages. Throughout the school year, there has been a steady stream of communication (photos, letters, and e-mails) between the 1st-graders and the soldiers. The students were witnesses to the courage, strength, and tenacity of the soldiers. The soldiers honored the students by sending “treasures” from Afghanistan and by answering the students’ questions about what life is like for a soldier in Afghanistan.
Ms. Sheila Murphy