November 26, 2008


Dryden students send stockings to soldiers overseas

Fourth-graders pack up 175 stockings with candy, activity books and letters for the troops

Dryden studentsBob Ellis/staff photographer
Dryden Elementary School fourth-graders Stephannie Rorick, left, and Brianna Stafford help stuff stockings that will be sent to overseas U.S. troops. Students packed 175 stockings.

Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — For the second straight year, fourth-graders at Dryden Elementary School stuffed Christmas stockings Tuesday to help members of the U.S. military serving abroad feel at home during the holidays.
They will send 175 stockings to the military this year after sending 20 last year.
The stockings — containing candy, activity books and letters that the students wrote to the soldiers — will be shipped this weekend to AdoptaPlatoon, an organization that sends care packages to all branches of the U.S. military.
Jill Knout, a fourth-grade teacher at the school, organized the event both last year and this year.
Last year, the students in Knout’s class and two other classes, stuffed the stockings. Knout and three other teachers bought the stockings and the supplies and paid for the cost of shipping them, Knout said.
This year, all seven classes in the fourth grade were able to participate, after AdoptaPlatoon sent Knout 175 stockings and $875 for purchasing the supplies. Knout also sent out a letter to businesses in Dryden asking for contributions, and she received $325, which she used to pay for postage costs and extra supplies.
Having received the stockings from Knout the previous year, she said the organization felt comfortable sending her the money this year.
Each stocking contained a deck of playing cards, candy and a book of crossword puzzles, word searches or Sudoku, a number game.
One first-grade class also participated in the event, because Knout’s daughter is in the class and she thought it was important experience for her.
Knout bought all of the supplies at Sam’s Club in Syracuse.
In their letters, many of the students wrote about themselves and their holiday plans and thanked the soldiers for their service.
Jessie Phillips, a fourth-grade student at the event, said sending the stockings is important, “because they are keeping us safe, and they are sacrificing their lives for us.”
“I think it’s really important that they feel like it’s home and that they really feel appreciated,” said Jacob Lewis, another student at the event. “We’re letting them know that they’re doing a really good thing.”
At the end of his letter to a soldier, Lewis wrote: “It is freezing and snowing. That means I can make huge snow forts. Happy holidays, and thanks for what you are doing for our country.”


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