Operation 'Dear John': Connecting Students and Soldiers

The idea of kids writing letters to active-duty soldiers has been going on since brave men and women first started dedicating their lives to their countries. But the idea is getting a fresh call-to-action thanks to a new movie and a kids TV network inspired by it.

Channel One News, the 20-year-old in-classroom news network for teens, is now partnering with Adopt-a-Platoon to connect kids and soldiers across the globe. The program, Operation: Dear John, draws its inspiration from the upcoming movie Dear John.

Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel and opening February 5, Dear John is about a young woman (Amanda Seyfried) who falls in love with and sends letters to a young soldier (Channing Tatum) while he's overseas with the Army (Tearjerk alert: the trailer alone should be sponsored by Kleenex).

Channel One, which helped launch the journalism careers of Anderson Cooper, Lisa Ling, and Maria Menounos, is hoping teachers and kids will be inspired to send cards, letters, poems, pictures, and videos to their assigned troops

With or without the movie, the program is a terrific all-in-one writing, civics, current events, and social studies lesson for students. And it probably means even more for the troops.

For more ways to send messages to soldiers, Military.com has created a strong index of sites that facilitate people-to-platoon connections.   

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