By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer
Cannon Air Force Base airmen deployed overseas will soon receive a package of cards from second-grade students at James Elementary School.
The children made the cards as part of an annual “Red, White and Blue” coloring contest to celebrate Veterans Day, according to Portales Police Detective Kirk Wilson, Adopt-A-Cop coordinator.
Wilson said he was aware of a group of airmen deployed from Cannon to Afghanistan and thought it would be nice to have the children make cards for them.
The cards, decorated with flags and many other patriotic emblems, are hanging in the halls of the school.
Teachers used the contest as part of a lesson.
“We talked about the soldiers, about all they do for us to protect our freedom,” teacher Caron Powers said. “I’m pleased that the cards will be sent to airmen.”
Jayne Combs discussed similar topics with her class.
“The students had to come up with reasons they were thankful,” she said. “Then they created cards to show how thankful they are.”
The cards were judged by city officials, including City Manager Debi Lee, Community Affairs Coordinator Nicole Wilkening, Police Chief Jeff Gill and Fire Battalion Chief Lance Hill.
The judges said it was hard to choose a best card and best class.
First place for an individual student went to Taylee Rippee. Her card said, “Thank you for protecting our freedom.”
Combs’ class won first place for their efforts.
Winners of the top two individual places will receive pizza parties for their classes, as will first- and second-place classes. Other individual and class winners through sixth place will receive cookies, Wilson said.
The contest is arranged to promote teamwork and competition, he said.