As a way to support our troops overseas while also teaching a valuable lesson about patriotism, honor and commitment, New Hyde Park Memorial High School English teacher Scott Colvin and his second period 8A students participated in the Books For Soldiers project this past spring.
After reading such works as The Diary of Anne Frank, The Outsiders, and The Hunger Games during the 2012-2013 school year, Colvin wanted to find a way for the students to really connect to the major themes of these works.
In addition, the research project that he conducted asked for students to recognize the tremendous acts of courage and tolerance found in various historic, literary, athletic or political figures; the theme of the paper was “Pay it Forward.”
Along with conducting a complete research paper, students were asked to write about their experience after completing a series of assignments where they had to conduct random acts of kindness. The culmination of the literature and research project was to obtain various items to donate to American soldiers fighting overseas.
The Books For Soldiers campaign matches American citizens willing to collect and send donations with soldiers who request items to make their lives a little more comfortable.
Colvin’s class collected enough items to send five boxes to three different troops. They donated such things as new socks, batteries, Chapstick, sunglasses, toothpaste, and soap along with some requested snack items such as cereal bars and breakfast drinks.
“The students really took ownership of this project,” Colvin said. “I think they learned some valuable lessons about the power of helping others, while also feeling a sense of pride from knowing they made a difference to so many soldiers.”