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Students send Boxes of Kisses to troops - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Students send Boxes of Kisses to troops

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August 1, 2010 - Clarendon, Vermont

The largest deployment of the National Guard since World War II has effected many Vermont families.

A group of Clarendon Elementary students found a way to send their love to the troops overseas...through their own voices.

There were very few dry eyes Saturday night in Clarendon as a group of elementary school children performed the song Box of Kisses for their community. The idea came about when the father of one of Neva Pratico's students was deployed to Afghanistan in January. 12 National Guard Members from their community are now serving overseas and her students wanted to do something special for the troops. She got together with local singer/songwriter James Mee who suggested they sing a song.

The Songwriter James Mee commented, "You get this little project. This innocent little project that offers a little genuine sense of Americana. This little small town kind of thing, but it's so real. At the first rehearsal, even just three notes in I knew right away. It was so obvious that what they were doing by singing the song for the troops. It was a special little moment, the kind you don't really get that often."

Mee decided to rewrite one of his previous melodies for the kids to sing and then send the soldiers a DVD of the recording. James Mee co-wrote the song box of kisses ten years ago, but said it never really caught on. He said the first time he heard the children sing the song he knew they made something special.

Neva Pratico from the Clarenden Elementary said, "Part of the song says know our hearts are with you, and know your country cares. That is clear when these children sing this to you."

The kids also made little boxes to accompany the dvd's -- filled with sweets and love, like a Box of Kisses.

"Each and every one has a fabulous message inside that is meant to be very personal to whomever receives it." Pratico said.

Originally they planned to make about 20 dvds and boxes to send over -- but 20 boxes quickly turned into two hundred boxes and now over one thousand boxes.

Neva Pratico told us, "Of our first 200 we have had some of the people already receive them. they are emailing us, they are calling their family members saying they play it constantly they are sharing it with their other troops and they want more. We want to send them more."

James Mee told us, "The project is starting to grow a little bit. We've gone from our couple hundred cd's. We've done another 200 and we are going to try and get enough over for all the Vermont troops."

A small community doing their part to support the troops. For more information visit the website :   www.boxofkisses.org

Molly Smith - WCAX News

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