GATE CITY — Students at Scott County’s Shoemaker Elementary School are hoping to bring a glimpse of home to soldiers overseas by joining in the History Channel and Charter Media’s “DVDs for Troop” campaign.
Students in grades K through 5 will participate in the program, which will run at the school through Dec. 13.
Charter Media Marketing Manager Lisa Faust said Shoemaker is the only area school taking part.
“We didn’t send anything out to the schools,” Faust said. “They heard about the campaign and wanted to participate, so we brought the box down and told the kids a little bit about what we’re doing. The children need to understand that we have people fighting for us, and that getting things like DVDs can be special, especially when you don’t have them anymore.”
Reba Kindle, a first grade teacher at Shoemaker, said she became interested in getting students involved after seeing a commercial for the Bill Gatton family of car dealerships participation in the program.
“The main reason we are doing it is to teach the students here about giving to others and supporting our troops so they have a full understanding of the sacrifices they are making,” Kindle said. “So we wanted to teach the kids about helping others and giving a helping hand, as well as supporting our troops that are serving overseas.”
Faust recently spoke with students in every grade a Shoemaker to tell them how the program works.
A collection box for the movies was placed on campus and students will have the chance to drop off their donated DVDs each school day between now and Dec. 13.
At the end of the drive, the DVDs will be sent to an Amvets distribution center in Ohio. Once there, the DVDs will be sorted, with active troops receiving more adult-oriented titles and children of service families being sent family shows and movies to watch.
Although the box hasn’t been placed at the school yet, Kindle said students have already been enthusiastic about participating.
“The kids are really excited,” Kindle said. “We discussed what we were doing in each grade level and brought them together as a group this morning to explain to them, and we’ve already had students bringing in DVDs. They are very eager to participate.”
In addition to teaching students about the sacrifices that those in the military make to serve their country, Kindle said the campaign can give students a better understanding of what their peers with parents serving overseas go through.
“We do have students here who have parents in the military and have served overseas and we wanted to make more attention to that,” Kindle said. “With the sacrifices the soldier and their families make, we just want them to know we’re thinking about them.”
Kindle said anyone who knows a student attending Shoemaker can send a DVD with the child to be dropped off.
Others interested in participating can donate discs at several Bill Gatton dealerships throughout the region, Faust said.
Faust said Bill Gatton locations will collect the titles through Dec. 31.