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The spirit of Christmas

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Thanks to the efforts of Bon Air Elementary School's kindergarten students, Santa stopped in Afghanistan this Christmas.

Rather than having a traditional gift exchange where students bring in a book or toy to give to another child at the classroom Christmas party, the students were asked to bring in an item for a soldier serving in Afghanistan.

Suggested items included soap, toothpaste and Q-tips — a stark contrast to the Androids, smartphones and video-game consoles that advertising executives would make you believe are necessary for a merry Christmas.

The army of 5- and 6-year-olds brought in scores of toiletries, snacks and magazines to be shipped overseas.

The students filled 25 boxes for the soldiers with items that we at home take for granted every day, but that our troops will treasure. The kindergarteners also included hand-drawn cards and pictures to brighten the soldiers' days.

Also, several classes of older children at Bon Air opted to forgo the classroom gift exchange in favor of participating in a food drive benefiting the St. Margaret Mary Church food bank in Lower Burrell. These students collected 17 boxfuls of nonperishable food items.

Bravo to the Bon Air teachers, especially kindergarten teacher Pamela White, who spearheaded the drive for supplies for our troops. In doing so, she taught our littlest students that it is better to give than to receive.

Jill Szish

Lower Burrell

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