They've Got Mail!
Students in Jennifer Schmidt's class at Frontier Elementary School are learning they live in a much bigger world than they see from their Sacramento neighborhood. Every Thursday her 32 fifth grade students get to rip into mail they receive from throughout the United States as a direct result of their weekly letter writing campaign.
"It's very exciting because we get to share with our group members," says student Sanaa Street. "I really want to visit Kentucky and Maryland because they have exciting things there, so I really want to visit those two places."
Schmidt developed the letter writing program about five years ago and is amazed how the project seems to take on a life of its own with each new class. The students are divided into 10 small groups at the beginning of the school year and each group is given five states to focus their writing efforts on, including the governor of each state, universities, museums and businesses. Along the way, students pick up life skills like teamwork, research, writing, envelope addressing and geography.
She even has a dedicated volunteer to help with the program—her retired father comes in every week to stuff, seal and stamp the new outgoing letters.
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