First-graders collect DVDs, CDs and videos for troops

December 20, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- There's confusion about how many DVDs and VHS tapes Hamilton Heights Elementary School first-graders collected for troops.

"One hundred and forty three."


"Three hundred and 4-3."

The children's answers vary when asked how many movies they donated. The differences prompt some debate about who is correct.

"I'll check with your teacher," a reporter says to stop the debate.

Teacher Karim Powanda said the final count was 443, including 50 CDs.

"We got a lot. ... Our goal was 100, but we got 443," Hannah Ericson said.

The children from Powanda's class and Michelle Brubaker's class led their school's collection for the AMVETS Task Force DVD drive. A few children from other classrooms participated.


The first-graders said they wanted to provide the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with entertainment amid their stressful lives.

"It would make them feel safe," Madyson Hessong said.

Madyson said she collected three bags.

"She couldn't even carry them. I saw her," Colby Linhart said.

Powanda said she likes to incorporate community service into her teaching. Helping soldiers seemed especially important, Powanda said, because her daughter's boyfriend is deployed.

"I knew I wanted to do something," Powanda said, saying she read about the AMVETS program in Good Housekeeping magazine.

On its Web site, the AMVETS program lists a goal of a million new and used DVDs. Members of the military can watch movies on their bases and ships, while their families can enjoy children's titles stateside.

Powanda's students said they collected some of their favorites, such as Spongebob Squarepants and Elmo movies.

"I picked out kid movies," Nate Abbott said, adding that he submitted one movie better geared to adults.

"I sent some scary movies," Jada Padilla said.

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