What began as an in-class writing assignment became a service-learning project for the students in Mrs. Alyssa Levine’s 9th grade English classes at Massapequa High School – Ames Campus.

Students were taught the format of a friendly letter and were assigned the task of writing a message of thanks and best wishes to an American soldier serving in Afghanistan. The assignment was a requirement for all students to practice their letter-writing skills. The letters were graded and students were given the choice of sending their letters overseas. Those that were sent were included with a care package of goodies, and shipped to Lance Corporal Matthew Parente to be shared with his battalion. Mr. Parente is the nephew of Mrs. Geraldine MacCarthy, a reading teacher at Lockhart Elementary School. “The students of Ames are proud of their role in helping to brighten the day of an American hero,” stated Ms. Levine.