Students, Casa de Mañana residents prepare packages for troops

[gallery]Third-graders from Dingeman Elemenary School in Scripps Ranch visited Casa de Mañana in La Jolla last week to fill gift packages for troops overseas.

Residents, many of whom served in the military themselves, and the children worked together decorating and filling the packages with items such as batteries, DVDs, coffee and, of course, beef jerky. Students wrote thank you letters, recited veterans’ poems and led the seniors in the National Anthem. The La Jolla retirement center is working “Operation Gratitude,” which will distribute the packages.