By ROB DURHAM
A group of Breckenridge Junior High students are showing wisdom well beyond their ages around the Christmas holidays.
BJHS Industrial Arts teacher Steve Toliver, along with Kim Fuller’s Gifted and Talented department implemented a team-teaching project that will help soldiers in the United States military ease their pain of being away from family during Christmas.
The project, entitled “The Freedom Pens Project,” was made with the help of Penn State Industries of Philadelphia, Penn, which furnished the 24-carat gold-plated pen kits.
The wood used in the making of the pens was Indonesian Rosewood and Brazilian Snakewood.
“I think the students really enjoyed doing this project,” Toliver said. “I also think they gained a greater appreciation of our military personnel.”
The group constructed pens and then had to write a letter to the men or women receiving the pens telling how their service to our country was appreciated and how thankful they were for the freedoms they have in the United States.
Eighth-grader Dyamond Puebla said the project was an eye-opening experience for her.
“The fact that I was making a pen for our military people made the experience even better,” she said. “It wasn’t just me making a pen … it was me making it for someone special.”
Toliver’s class makes approximately 250 pens a year. Students in BJHS can purchase the pens for use in their classes.
However, the 11 pens made from this particular group held a little more meaning.
“It was a neat project and making the pen was fun,” said BJHS eighth-grader Blake Martinez. “It sure felt good after I found out the meaning of the project.”
BJHS seventh-grader Tyler Bode, who was working on his fourth pen in the class said the cutting and sanding portion of the project was the most entertaining.
“Working on the pen made me feel good about what I was doing,” he said. “After knowing why I was doing the project, I wanted to make sure it was perfect.”
Morgan Thompson, eighth-grader, looked at the project from a gift-giving point of view, saying “it makes me feel good that I can give them something special.”
“I like making the pens because it’s fun,” said Austin Dooley. “But when I was making this one, I was thinking ‘It’s not all about us.’”
Identification for Pictures:
#5705……Pictured are the kids in Steve Toliver’s class as well as Kim Fuller’s Gifted and Talented class who are sending pens and letters to soldiers overseas during Christmas. Students include (front, l to r) Elliott Perez, Tyler Bode, Tiffany Melton, Dyamond Peubla, Morgan Thompson and Maria Mendoza. The back row features (l to r) Blake Martinez, Jake Wallace, Cade Cornett, Kim Fuller, Steve Toliver and Austin Dooley. Not pictured is Jenae Herring.
#5707…..Pen Photo: The group will plan to send a group of soldiers a pen, a ‘thank you’ letter along with a coin with an inspirational saying.
(Photos by Rob Durham)