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Published: Wednesday, 12/17/2008

Girl, 10, at Christiancy Elementary helps start cards-for-soldiers drive

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Christiancy Elementary School substitute teacher Greg Libstorff watches as students Isabelle Younglove and Malina Johnson, right, sign a holiday card that will be sent to wounded soldiers. Christiancy Elementary School substitute teacher Greg Libstorff watches as students Isabelle Younglove and Malina Johnson, right, sign a holiday card that will be sent to wounded soldiers.
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MONROE The holiday cards made last week by students at Christiancy Elementary School more than likely will bring smiles and perhaps tears to injured soldiers in military hospitals.

After using green and red crayons to draw a Christmas tree on her card, second-grader Isabelle Younglove asked classmates to sign it.

I m letting everybody sign it. Soldiers need some cheering up, Isabelle said as she passed around her card made from folded construction paper.

Inside the card was the message: Roses are red. Violets are blue. Have a Merry Christmas. From us to you.

The card-making and writing exercise the first of its kind for students at the school was generated by Isabelle s sister, Rose, 10, and their mother, Deirdre Younglove.

Rose Younglove, right, helps Hannah Sweat create a greeting card as part of a project at Christiancy Elementary. Rose Younglove, right, helps Hannah Sweat create a greeting card as part of a project at Christiancy Elementary.
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The mother and daughter wanted to get involved in a community service project, and Rose, a fifth grader at the school on Lincoln Avenue in Monroe, suggested writing to wounded soldiers.

Rose asked me to help find a way to bring students in the school and community together in an activity, said Mrs. Younglove, who also has a daughter in the ninth grade and a 2-year-old at home.

We came up with writing cards to soldiers in hospitals. My heart really is with children. Children can light people up.

Rose and Mrs. Younglove suggested the idea as a schoolwide project to interim Principal Stacy Johnson, who arranged for the activity to happen.

I feel so close to the school, said Rose. I think it can really bring the community close together.

Mrs. Younglove said half of the cards from the 260 students will be sent to patients in Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

She said she hopes to take her daughters to Chicago to hand-deliver cards to soldiers in a hospital there and send the rest to military hospitals overseas.

It was amazing to see how excited the children were to do this, Mrs. Younglove said.



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