Sunday, February 10, 2013

The 21st Century Still Needs Snail Mail

Image 41/ 365 Days of Awesome: Some seriously happy kids--just goes to show 
how big the impact can be when you personalize an act of kindness. 
There are those who insist on how critical it is to have tech-based projects in the classroom, and that "old-fashioned" paper projects are a thing of the past. Well, today's Pure Awesome demonstrates how education can blend the two in simple ways for impressive impact.
Read this post from December for background details on how this project came to light. What the post doesn't clarify is how a variety of connections interwove together to create the proverbial bow that wrapped it all together. Once the kids in my cooking club decided that they wanted to help a school affected by Hurricane Sandy, the wheels started to roll.
 After a couple of "fails", I contacted a friend I had met by happenstance this past summer in Florida--who lived in New York. I used social media to contact him, and he, in turn, used old-fashioned legwork and his social media connections to find a class for us. He didn't know the teacher whose name/ address he had passed on, but had been sent the info electronically.
We had a name, an address, and the knowledge that her 4th grade class had been displaced--without a single voice conversation.  This all happened within 48 hours.
We sent our new friends a care package pre-Christmas, and they sent us pictures, as well as thank you notes on the backs of New York postcards--an absolute thrill for my students!
It has now gotten to the point of personalized correspondence---snail mail style! It's not as fun as face to face, nor as quick as electronic communication, but there's still something wonderful about opening a package and finding handcrafted notes and pictures with your name on them. It is indeed a heartfelt reminder that small acts of caring have BIG impact.

Lest you think that YOU can't impact today's learners, think again. What you know or who you know might just be the final strand a teacher needs to weave his/her magic in the classroom.

If anyone still has beef about the irrelevance of old-fashioned, hands-on projects, snail mail "pen pals", or the fact that the characteristics of kindness, patience, and empathy cannot be measured through standardized testing, please feel free to contact me by snail mail or personalized email.
Better yet, let's talk face to face, and you can meet my excited students as a bonus. :)

Image 40/ 365: When I pulled these out of the
envelope, Wilson exclaimed that "Strangers
can really become friends!"

Image 39/ 365: She danced around the
room as if she'd just won the lottery!
Image 38/ 365: Look at the detail in this one!
The kids loved passing them around.
Image 37/ 365: Even the boys hand-carried their Valentines on their way home 
rather than put them in their bookbags!  
Image 36/ 365: Feeling the love from
New York's PS207!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!


  1. It looks like you have had a great Valentines day!

  2. Wow youv'e been very createv.