Health Check: Elementary students reach out to sailors

Stephen is a fifth grader at Captain Issac Paine school in Foster.

He along with his classmates and a third-grade class recently wrote dozens of letters to sailors stationed in Hawaii who will soon be deployed.

"Dear USS Charlotte sailors. Hi. My name is Stephen and I am in Miss DePetrillo's fifth grade classroom. My dad was not in the Navy. He was in the Army National Guard and stationed in Afghanistan," Stephen wrote.

The idea was the brainchild of Karen Dalton, the parent of Michaela, a fifth-grader at the school.

Some of the questions and comments from the students included: "What is it like living on a boat?" and "Do you ever get seasick?" and "We are rooting for you back home."

It came about by my oldest daughter, Amanda. Her best friend is a friend of mine on Facebook and she had put it out there. She's married to one of the sailors on the USS Charlotte and she had put on Facebook asking if anybody out there would write letters to the sailors to give them something to look forward to," Dalton said.

And students from three classrooms were happy to oblige.

"I'm a third grader in Rhode Island. I think it's awesome how you are fighting for our country. I like how you're risking your life for our freedom," one student wrote.

"How's the weather? We recently had a blizzard. It was called NEMO. I got about three feet of snow and two days off of school," another student wrote.

"I'm a third grader in Rhode Island. I wonder what you do for training? I like to play soccer. What do you like to play?" Antonella Goncalves wrote.

Dalton said the students made handwritten envelopes, pictures and sent pictures of themselves.

"They were really interested in connected with the sailors," Dalton said.

"Thank you for fighting in the war. I can't thank you enough for your help, support and sacrifice to make our country free," a student named Shane wrote.

They're letters and pictures the students hope will put smiles on the sailors' faces.