Students from Berthold, Plaza and Makoti Lewis and Clark School District sent a little Christmas cheer to North Dakota National Guard soldiers stationed in Afghanistan earlier this month. Many of the students, ranging from kindergarten through high school, enthusiastically drew pictures, wrote letters and made cookies for the troops who won't be able to be home for Christmas. Two large boxes containing 270 letters or drawings and 16 dozen cookies were packed up and mailed on Friday, Dec. 7.
District officials said the project started as an activity during an elementary guidance lesson and snowballed from there. The family consumer science foods class came up with the idea of making wreath cookies and made enough for each of the members of the N.D. Guard Co. 818 in Afghanistan. Then the junior and senior high school English class students contributed to the project by writing letters which included a lot of original artwork. Most of the artwork had a N.D. Christmas or patriotic theme to it. Sadly, in the midst of the project, news of the death of two soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde and Spc. Tyler Orgaard, from the 818 Co., reached the state. That news reinforced what the students already knew - that the 818 Engineering Co. is on a very important and dangerous mission. Many of the students' letters thanked the soldiers and commented on their bravery and wished them a safe return to North Dakota.
On a much happier note, it was discovered during the project that Plaza's third- and fourth-grade class had a special interest in it. Their teacher, Andrea Anderson's son, Sgt. Shane Anderson, is presently serving in Afghanistan. A note was attached to their letters asking if they could be delivered to Shane.
Students from Berthold, Plaza and Makoti Lewis and Clark School District sent letters and cookies to North Dakota National Guard soldiers stationed in Afghanistan earlier this month.
When asked what they learned from writing the letters, according to the school district, an unnamed seventh-grader said , "I wish the soldiers could see their families more. It makes me feel like I should do more for them and appreciate them more," while an unnamed third-grader added, "They (the soldiers) need the letters because their families won't be able to be with them for Christmas. The letters might make them happy."