"Savannah's Soldiers" stops in mid-Missouri

A third grade class holds up books they received during a visit from Savannah Maddison.

A 12-year-old girl who started an initiative to gather letters to send to soldiers deployed overseas stopped in Fulton Friday to read to an elementary school.

Savannah Maddison stopped by McIntire Elementary to read to the class as part of the school's Celebrity Reading program.

Savannah is a singer and the creator of "Savannah's Soldier's," a program that collects letters for soldiers deployed overseas.

The school originally reached out to Savannah's mom, Monique Ogdon, to see if Savannah could do a video reading. Ogdon had recently come across the book "Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops," written by Vice President Joe Biden's wife Jill, and decided to take the proposal to the next level.

Ogdon contacted Biden, and, with the help of Simon and Schuster publishers, they were able to provide 400 copies of the book to McIntire Elementary - one for each student.

Savannah and her sister read an exerpt from the book to classes and answered questions from the students, many of whom had already seen her music videos.

Savannah started the program after learning that her best friend's father would be deployed to Afghanistan. She wanted to help her friend, Wilson, and decided to collect letters to send to Wilson's father and members of his battalion.

She also wrote a song, titled after her best friend, to show her support.

After a national television appearance, the endeavor grew.

To date, Savannah has collected more than 40,000 letters for troops overseas. This year, McIntire Elementary and the Fulton community contributed around 5,000 letters.