On November 5th, The Buddy Program, presented by Mrs. Mallard and Mrs. Hodge's eighth grade students at Windham Middle School, thanked American Troops who are currently overseas for the holidays by sending personalized cards and Halloween candy.
Emily Magoon, whose father has been in the service since when he was first deployed to Iraq in 2001, explained to her classmates and their second grade buddies what it is like to be a part of a military family and how much these care packages mean to those who are away.
"It's been pretty interesting growing up in a military family and there has been a lot of really cool experience that I've gotten to have but there are also downsides, like sometimes it's really hard to be without your parent for a long time when they have to leave," said Magoon. Magoon also spoke about the importance of the care packages, explaining how these packages show the troops "people care about what they're doing and people are thankful for them.” The middle school students found their buddies after Magoon's presentation and started on their thank you cards.
The cards and candy from the eighth and second grade students will be sent to troops based out of New Hampshire, but are currently deployed in Afghanistan. Mrs. Mallard, one of the eighth grade teachers, said, "We're just hoping that it brightens their day.”
The Buddy Program at Windham Middle School is a program involving eighth and second grade students, where each month they meet together and do some activity that benefits someone else. Each middle school student gets their primary school buddy in September and continues meeting and molding that same buddy until the school year comes to an end in June. Mallard said she hopes the buddy program teaches the children "empathy and compassion" and lets them know that "there are other people out there.”
"Education is not just about what you learn in books or papers. It's about what you learn about people,” she said.