Teacher in Afghanistan about to get gifts from students

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI)-- An Army Captain, who will not be home in time to see the birth of his son, will be receiving support from a different type of family.  Capt. Ben Silvermintz is also a teacher with Parkway Central High School.  He was a Parkway graduate and is currently the commander of the 561st Movement Control Team.

Students from Parkway Central High School collected enough food and supplies to fill 56 boxes for Silvermintz and his unit.  The boxes will be mailed Tuesday.   Students and staff also raised enough cash to cover the nearly $1,000 cost to mail the boxes to Afghanistan.

Laura Lukowski is a Parkway Central High English teacher and a sponsor of the project.   She said the effort has given students a greater appreciation for the service given by military men and women.

"It`s incredible to see these students stand up and take this initiative," said Lukowski.

Students involved with Parkway`s Project Help feel this particular effort was especially rewarding.  They hope the baskets will give soldiers a taste of home.

"I feel like sometimes we don`t get to thank them enough," said Susanna Lei, Parkway Central senior.

Silvermintz provided a wish list for the students.  Items included granola bars, beef jerky and shampoo.  Some students decided to create their own card with a hand-written message.

"That makes it more personal to the soldiers when they receive it," explained Parkway Central junior Jorris Robinson.

Silvermintz and his unit received similar packages during his 1st deployment.  His wife is expecting a baby boy in December.  She teaches in the Lindbergh School District and said her students held a diaper drive to show their support.

"They should know that what they`re doing is making a big impact," said Chelsea Silvermintz.

She said her husband photographed some of the cards he received during his pervious deployment and shared them with her.  She can`t wait for his scheduled return in June.   She plans on using  Skype so her husband can see their new baby when he is born.

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