Over 800 students at Laveen’s Cheatham Elementary School created greeting cards to send to troops stationed overseas. The entire school  participated in this project on December 13.

The project was developed by the school’s student council after attending a leadership conference last month. “Council members wanted to find a project that would allow students in the lower grades an opportunity to work with students in the upper grades,” explained Student Council sponsor and kindergarten teacher Sandy Life. “They thought a greeting card project would be the perfect way to bring grade levels together while sharing their appreciation for our soldiers who keep us safe.”

Cheatham practices Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) which is a widely used approach to supporting positive behaviors with the intention of improving social, emotional, and academic outcomes for all students. Part of the school’s PBIS approach is “PAW to PAW” where older students mentor younger students regularly. PAW to Paw typically takes place on early release Wednesdays.

“This activity prompts students to work together while enhancing their creative and writing skills. At the same time, it supports strong character traits including sharing, caring, kindness, and showing gratitude,” Life added. “We hope, that through this project, we can teach our students that there is life outside of our school walls.  A lot goes on in our neighborhoods, our city, our state, our country and our world.  We want them to see that these cards will make a big difference to that soldier who is far away from their families and loved ones.”

Cards will be given to a Cheatham teacher’s husband who is preparing for deployment. He hopes to distribute the cards to his unit once he arrives at his assignment.

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