Kids Get First Hand Knowledge About the War in Iraq Inside the Classroom

February 22, 2007 -- Posted at 2:29 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR -- Two more soldiers with the 875th Engineer Batallion have been injured in Iraq.

The two soldiers injured are Specialist Steven Parker who has some minor bruising and has since returned to duty and Sergeant Ronald Griffin who suffered a concussion.

The two were hurt when an improvised explosive device exploded near them.

We all want to know how our soldiers are doing.  But there is one group that we don't always think about... the children of the soldiers.

The Greene County Tech Primary school is doing it's best to help teach their students what is going on.

"We have a flag and it has a picture of a soldier with his name on the back and if he has any family in the primary building it has a star under his name," said school social worker Robin Williams.

There are many teachers who have relatives in the 875th.  Ashley Dean's husband is one of those in Iraq, and she says she looks forward to seeing her husband's picture every time she passes by the display.

"I thought it was a great thing it was honoring our soldiers but it was on our children's

Level," said Ashley Dean.

The kids talk about the war almost everyday and it's encouraged even in the classroom.

"Most of the classes have a pen pal that is one of the soldiers in Iraq," said Williams.

Jacob and Sydney Martin have an uncle in Baghdad who sends them letters and postcards.  The two second graders talk to their uncle about everything and it's the same for kids in all the classrooms.

"They all want to know about the vehicles that he drives and the things that he does and so he writes us letters and he e-mails us to let us know what's going on," said Dean.

The kids are also taught a lesson by the soldiers.  On Wednesday the uncle of 2nd grader Corie Travis sent the class a small rug from Baghdad and $250 dollars in Iraqi money.

Williams said talking about their loved one's does help the children.

"Their families are putting their lives on the line to fight for our country and I think these kids need to know how important we think that is and how we support them here at school," said Williams.

The school counselors have a breakfast once a week with the students who have family members in the 875th.

The kids are encouraged to talk about what ever they want to talk about including any concerns they have about their family members.