Operation Tuck In
Among the variety of events and activities that have Cherry Avenue hopping, Operation Tuck-in was one that caught the attention of Newsday’s Future Corps reporters. It will appear in Future Corps during March.
"Operation Tuck-In," to provide good cheer for those serving abroad, is an ongoing project shared by Mrs. Teufel’s Second-grade class and Mrs. Batterberry’s Third-grade class. As "book buddies," the classes usually work in tandem to enhance the reading and writing fluency of both grade levels and to practice reading poetry to an audience.
Since Mrs. Teufel’s husband, Sgt. Thomas Teufel of the Army National Guard, is currently serving in Iraq, she and Mrs. Batterberry realized that the students had a perfect audience: THE SOLDIERS SERVING OUR COUNTRY! They planned the students’ mission: to "tuck a soldier in" with a goodnight poem.
With this objective, the children drew illustrations, created "pockets" for tucking in their poems and videotaped their recitations so the soldiers could see the children bringing the poems to life. Not only would our service men and women enjoy receiving messages that can play on computer laptops, the teachers knew that "after the holidays would be a great time to let the troops know how much weSTILL care about them," explained Mrs. Batterberry.
Before he and his unit were deployed, Sgt. Teufel and fellow airmen met the Cherry Avenue students during a Memorial Day Assembly last spring. Many of the students maintained this personal connection as they composed their poems, wrapped in pillowcases and sent with cookies and milk boxes.
They hope the soldiers will enjoy being "tucked in at night" with lighthearted stories, meaningful messages, and heartfelt thanks.