Published in the October 19, 2017 edition


NORTH READING — Students for Soldiers was given the go-ahead by the School Committee at Monday night’s meeting.

It was approved as a new club to be formed at North Reading High School. Seniors Kyle Bythrow and Michael Brown proposed the club saying that they had 30 to 50 students who had expressed interest in becoming members. The club’s faculty advisor will be NRHS science teacher Jeffrey Wall.

The students say the mission of the club is to make sure that “no soldier is left without something during mail call.” The goal is to send care packages to deployed, active-duty servicemen and servicewomen who might otherwise not get anything from home.

The plan is to create a military support club where students raise funds by selling T-shirts, having bake sales and the like. The money raised will go to support letter-writing, care packages and other methods of supporting the troops. The organizers have been in touch with local military personnel at Hanscom AFB who are willing to help distribute the packages.

Major events for the club will include Christmas letters to soldiers, selling of student-made T-shirts and annual care packages.

Care packages would be made up of toiletries, such as toothpaste and shampoo, non-perishable snacks and food items such as beef jerky and protein bars and other items from home, like magazines, hand and foot warmers and American chewing gum that may not be available in combat areas.

When asked why they wished to form this club, Brown noted that he has a cousin who had recently joined the Marines to train as an Arabic language translator. Bythrow added, “many students have members of their family who have served or are serving in the armed forces.”

The Students for Soldiers Club is based on successful models at other area high schools including Belmont High School.

Following the presentation by Brown and Bythrow, School Committee member Jerry Venezia commented that it was a “great idea” and added that he was “glad you guys came up with it.”