Oakville pupils heed the call, ‘Let Freedom Ring’

Oakville Middle School seventh-graders recently packed up 123 telephone cards to send off to troops in Iraq, just in time for holiday telephone calls.

In 21 days, the pupils’ “Let Freedom Ring” campaign netted more than $3,150 in donations for purchasing the telephone cards. Spearheaded by social studies teach-er Judy Busso, the class project was enthusiastically supported by all 123 pupils in her five social studies’ classes.

Busso said of her pupils, whom she refers to as “minutemen,” “They brainstormed on a name for the project, coming up with 17 names and overwhelmingly voting for the ‘Let Freedom Ring,’ a play on words, for the phone card project.”

She continued, “The students learned about teamwork by working with a subcommittee of 12 members who wrote the letter explaining the project, researched and purchased the red, white and blue pencils given to each contributor and carefully tallied the donations.”

Many hours were spent outside the classroom soliciting the funds from family and friends.

“It was a real group effort and I am very proud of all of my students,” said Busso, who contributed more than $100 of her own money. She also expressed gratitude for the south county community, noting that she was amazed at the outpouring of support, including many who returned the giveaway pencils, referring to them as “boomerang pencils.”

Spec. David Walter, a 1997 Mehlville High School graduate serving in Iraq, will receive the bundle of cards. Each telephone card will be distributed according to need and will be included in a holiday card with a letter from the pupils, a “Let Freedom Ring” pencil and a group picture of the pupils.