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Students play Santa

Green Valley Montessori send gifts to deployed troops

Preschoolers from Green Valley Montessori School gather around a table of candies to make the Christmas bags they will send to soldiers in Iraq. Shawn Kelley. (click for larger version)
December 05, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Students of Green Valley Montessori School in Southbridge are trying to bring a warm reminder of home to soldiers serving overseas this holiday season.

Bags were filled by students on Thursday, Dec. 2 with necessities that aren't always in abundance in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as hand sanitizer, men and women's body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Kleenex and other small non-perishable items such as mints and trail mix.

The students of the morning class at Green Valley also put together 33 cards with Christmas wishes for the soldiers.

Some of the inspiration for the school's participation in this project came from the father of two of the students, Edward Beaupre, who has been serving in Iraq for three years.

"With any luck, he will be coming home on Dec. 12 for two weeks," explained Edward's wife Lyndsey, whose sons Deegan and Michael go to Green Valley. "We really hope he comes home on the 12th or later. If he arrives home on the 11th, he will have to go back on Christmas Day. This is a great Christmas present for the kids and for me. This is his second tour of duty and he hasn't decided if he's going to reenlist or not."

Lyndsey's brother, Kaiten Neill, has also served in Iraq and has just returned home. He is scheduled to go back to Iraq in either 2011 or 2012. One of the teacher's nephews, Jake Morin is currently serving in Iraq as well and one of the student's uncles, Peter Lawendowski, is serving in Iraq, but is home for the holidays.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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