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Davis Journal

Youth combine efforts to send Valentine’s cards to military

Feb 18, 2021 11:37AM ● By Becky Ginos
KAYSVILLE—Many men and women serving in the military didn’t expect to get a card on Valentine’s Day, but thanks to kids at Renaissance Academy they will.

Seventeen youth in care at the alternative school made 542 cards. Combined with the cards their mentors made, they had more than 600 cards to send to the troops.

“One of our mentors came up with the idea from the K-Bull (radio) challenge,” said teacher Erica Garcia. “I thought it was a good idea and a fabulous service project for the soldiers. She made up kits for the kids and they responded in a big way.”

Many of the foster kids didn’t even know about the military, she said. “Some of them have only a loose connection to family. I told them ‘what you’re doing for the military today might be the only mail they get.’ Most did great.”

The school services youth in seventh to 12th grade who have problems in school. “We help them transition back into real school,” said Garcia. “Some kids have never committed a crime. Sometimes it’s because of their family and they could be here for protection.”

Students can participate in basketball, badminton and archery, she said. “Pretty much every sport you can think of.”

There’s also a woodworking shop. “We have a saw where they can cut wood and do engraving,” Garcia said. “A lot of people wouldn’t do that with this population of students. When you read their file you don’t think they’ll be much but once you meet them they’re awesome.”

Garcia has worked in the Davis School District since 1999. “I taught at Davis High but my heart is with alternative education – especially with these types of students,” she said. “I’ve been part of Renaissance since 2007.”

K-Bull picked up the cards last week to send out to the troops. “I helped with tape management,” said one student. “It was a lot of fun making cards. I enjoyed that. I have family members in the military. If they’re not getting mail it’s nice they’ll get something.”

“It’s pretty cool,” said another student. “It’s a nice thing to do. Most don’t have any family or anything.”

Renaissance is kind of a little secret, Garcia said. “The people here work days, nights and holidays to make this work. They are all acts of love. You can’t pay anyone enough to do this job. It has to come from the heart.”