EAST Students Cheer Troops During Holidays


EAST Students Cheer Troops During Holidays
8/14/2013 4:48:12 PM

Local EAST programs team with TV news, USO.

KAIT TV News’ “Operation Holiday Hero” and local EAST programs’ “Greetings from Home” projects united recently to send supporting messages to our troops. Nettleton, Brookland, Valley View and Jonesboro EAST programs provided the means for people to send holiday greetings to troops away from home and in foreign lands.

Nettleton EAST students from the junior high and high school researched the USO and brainstormed project ideas and discussed the most effective ways to involve the community. Students found the USO’s “Thanks from Everywhere” program, which allows users to send messages to the troops from the USO website, and decided to incorporate it into the project. They also decided to create Christmas postcards for those who wanted to send a more traditional greeting.

Students wanted to hold the event at The Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro, so they sent emails to the Mall management requesting permission. They also shared the project idea with Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, who was able to connect them with Jeremy Shirley of KAIT TV. He invited them to join in the station’s “Operation Holiday Hero” effort to send holiday video messages to the troops.

Nettleton contacted the area EAST programs to enlist their help with the project. Students and facilitators were very excited about the opportunity to collaborate with KAIT TV and to hold the event at The Mall at Turtle Creek. Each school created holiday greeting cards using Photoshop, Fireworks, Publisher and InDesign. Brookland and Nettleton EAST programs created display boards to highlight their project. Each EAST program brought a laptop which was connected to the mall wireless internet to allow mall patrons to send electronic messages through the USO website. The cards will be mailed to the troops. The Brookland EAST program is currently working to link the KAIT TV video messages to the USO website as well.

Over the two-day event, EAST students were able to recruit many people to send video messages through KAIT TV, electronic messages through the USO and written messages on the student-created postcards. As patrons sent messages, they were given yellow ribbons for their participation.

NHS senior student Tyler stated, “It was truly an honor to be part of that program. I know that to many people it may not seem like much, but to me it is important that a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan, or a Navy crew member on a submarine, or a marine halfway across the globe who cannot come home for Christmas will have their day immensely brightened by the efforts we undertook.”

Facilitators Anita Belew, Cindy Whitaker, Sandra Taylor and Trent Saracini agreed that it was an unforgettable experience to watch our EAST students grow in confidence and their ability to communicate with the public. It was truly the EAST student standards in action.





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