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Students learn writing skills while spreading cheer: Freshmen students seeking soldiers
December 25, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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One teacher’s writing assignment not only brings a smile to those serving in our military, but also teaches communication skills often overlooked because of technology.

Toward the end of January, students at Gering Freshman Academy will be writing letters to soldiers with ties to the Panhandle area.
Gering Freshman Academy teacher Lisa Hadenfeldt said the assignment is part of the state writing standards. “The kids need to write for different purposes, so every quarter I have them write a different kind of letter. This one is a personal letter, and it’s actually hard for them to write one.”

Writing something by hand is often more difficult for kids when they grew up texting, emailing and “keyboarding.”
In addition to writing a personal letter, students learn to address two different sizes of envelopes, again by hand. Hadenfeldt said those are skills that every student should have. And she’s surprised at how many students haven’t learned that skill.

“On the personal letter to soldiers, it’s the kids I’ve taught who later joined the service who come back and say how much the letters meant to them,” she said. “Parents of soldiers have also emailed me with thanks for the pick-me-up of a personal letter.”

She added that one of her students even got to meet the soldier she wrote to some time later. And they found they both had a lot in common.

Hadenfeldt is still accepting soldiers’ addresses where her students can send their letters. People can email those addresses to her: lhadenfeldt@geringschools.net.
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