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      Lexington Co. students learn about the power of the written word

      Organizers say the 1,500 completed cards will get to troops before the holidays.

      LEXINGTON COUNTY (WACH) -- Ania Gladden doesn't know anyone serving in the military, but that TMs not stopping her from writing to a solider currently serving overseas.

      I know they get a lot of thank you letters and I wanted mine to be really special, said Ania Gladden, an eighth grader at Northside Middle School.

      In addition to saying 'thank you' to troops, Gladden and her classmates decorated the envelopes of their cards with patriotic images.

      I was very proud of the students because they did a phenomenal job, says Northside teacher Kelly Strickland. I wanted them to really think about what they were writing.

      I just wanted to tell them I was praying for them, hope they stay safe, adds eighth grader Bruce Wilkinson.

      The assignment was a first for Wilkinson, who says he wants to continue to share words of encouragement with the country's military personnel.

      Wilkinson and Gladden's cards were added to a pile of more than 1,500 cards signed and sealed by middle schoolers in Lexington School District Two.

      It's part of our character education program here, according to Strickland.

      She was in charge of the cards at Northside Middle. She hopes the simple sentiments will deliver a smile to troops because it certainly has for the teens