Kids in Marcia Ventura’s fifth grade class at Maple Elementary School have been working on a project that culminates today with the shipping of about 50 care packages to the First Platoon, Charlie Company, 1-4 Infantry, stationed in Mizan, Afghanistan.
According to Ventura, this is the second year that Maple’s fifth graders have sent treats and morale to troops overseas. Last year, the class “adopted” a Marine, Corporal Paul Craddick, who served in Ramadi, Iraq. The students exchanged letters and phone calls, sent him monthly care packages, and hosted a welcome home party when he returned to the US. Along with students at neighboring Kimball Elementary, Maple’s fifth graders participated in a successful drive for gifts, to be sent to all 175 Marines in Craddick’s unit.
This year’s drive is slightly different, says Ventura, as “the students lack a personal connection
to any of the soldiers in the platoon. However, as the students were studying about the election all fall the issues in which the two presidential candidates differed, students became interested in the two wars in which the United States is engaged.” Locals may have already seen evidence of the class’s interest in politics; earlier this fall, the kids made “VOTE” signs and went out on Election Day to wave their signs and encourage Beacon Hillers to vote.
The students have carefully organized and labeled items which are now in the classroom, ready to be packed up this morning. Five parents, as well as Karen Craddick (Corporal Craddick’s wife) will volunteer their time to help the kids pack, fill out shipping forms, and send a little bit of Beacon Hill to Afghanistan.