PEEKSKILL, N.Y. - Hillcrest Elementary School students brought cheer to the lives of more than 100 deployed soldiers this holiday season.
Emily Diaz's fifth-grade class wrote letters to 114 deployed soldiers during the month of December.
“We believe the world is a better place when kindness is shown," Diaz said. "I am teaching my students to analyze and speak up when something positive or negative happens. I want them to be self-aware that the world is a big place where they have a say in it, and what they choose to do has an impact on everyone. I am teaching them to do right and value what they have.”
The letters were written in Spanish and English, to soldiers deployed in the Middle East who were unable to return home for the holidays. Each student wrote several letters. The writing took place during the class' scheduled writing time.
Diaz’s class also collected money to buy toys for the children of two families who had been financially affected because a parent was deployed in the military. This project was overseen by Diaz and her “class parents” and was made possible by donations from her student’s parents.