UVSC professor collects school kits for Iraqi children

UVSC students have contributed school supplies to children in Iraq with the assistance of Diane Perkins.

Perkins, a UVSC history professor, has had her students bring in items to be put together into school kits for Operation Iraqi Children (OIC). She has been assembling school kits for OIC for the past three years with her students.

Perkins started getting involved in OIC as a high school teacher in California and has been doing it for three years.

Since she was in California when the program began, she noticed how OIC helped people with opposing war views come together on a project.

"California is a much more liberal state than Utah; so as far as the war was concerned, it was somewhat more controversial. But with a project like this, you had students helping the military and helping the people of Iraq, and it didn’t seem like it was a public policy in terms of government," said Perkins.

OIC was founded in 2004 by actor Gary Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand for American people to have a way to reach out to war-stricken children in Iraq. So far, the program has sent more than 200,000 school kits to Iraq, as well as Afghanistan and Djibouti.

Perkins already has 10 boxes ready to be shipped and expects to have more by the end of the year. "My students have been very generous; and the closer we get to finals, the more generous they’ll become," said Perkins.

Anyone wanting to donate items for the school kits can drop them off at the Service Learning Center located in the Student Center.

The last day Perkins is accepting items will be Dec. 4. Perkins also plans on doing the project again next semester.

For more information about OIC, the Web site is www.operationiraqichildren.org

Items in a school kit:
Donated items can be dropped off at the Service Learning Center.
One pair of blunt-end scissors
One 12-inch ruler with erasers
12 new pencils with erasers
One small pencil sharpener
One large eraser
One box of colored pencils (Crayons melt in the Iraqi summer heat)
One package of notebook paper
One composition book
Three folders with inside pockets
One zippered pencil bag

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