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Eagleview Elementary classroom continues Skype sessions with adopted soldier

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Students in Allison Reigel and Cassandra Amsden’s first-grade class used their monthly Skype session with Lt. Cmdr. Amy Lindahl as a supplement to their lessons on deserts. Lindahl and her roommate also modeled and answered questions about combat gear.

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“I thought it was fun because we got to see their gear,” said first-grader Aubrey Larsen.

The first-grade class has been corresponding with Lindahl, her roommate and friends based in a military base in Afghanistan since last fall. It was at that time that Lindahl approached Reigel, whom she had known since second grade in International Falls, and asked if her class was interested in adopting her.

“She actually contacted me and said, ‘I’m going over there. Would you be interested in having your class adopt me as a soldier?’ So that’s kind of how it started,” Reigel said.

Reigel and Amsden’s students benefit from the sessions by using them to supplement classroom learning. Between Skype sessions, the students sometimes even monitor weather conditions in Afghanistan so they can discuss it with Lindahl.

“I think pretty much at the end of this month they won’t have any again until the very end of the year around November and December,” said Sam, an Australian soldier. “It’s not very much rain and they have to make it go a long way.”

In addition to learning from Lindahl and her friends, students have also sent letters and Christmas gifts to her, and the group also sang them a song of thanks.

Overall, the opportunity has been beneficial to both groups.

“I think it’s given them an opportunity to learn about a different culture,” Reigel said. “We’ve even done some reading about Afghanistan.”

Though the students have been cooresponding since November, it is unlikely that they will have the opportunity to actually meet Lindahl, as her tour of duty ends in July, long after the end of the school year.

The students sang “American Soldier," a song sung to the tune of “Frère Jacques.” They also altered the lyrics to honor soldiers from other countries. The lyrics are:

American soldier (x2)

You are brave (x2)

You keep our country safe (x2)

We thank you (x2)

Australian soldier (x2)

You are brave (x2)

You keep our country safe (x2)

We thank you (x2)

Slovakian soldier (x2)

You are brave (x2)

You keep our country safe (x2)

We thank you (x2)

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