Literacy project links SES kids to far corners of earth
Friendships are made any time and anywhere. The literacy students in Mrs. Strong’s and Mrs. Casey’s classes at Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs have learned about writing, spelling, reading, geography and life through a year-long project.
Each student in their classes of second, third, fourth, and fifth graders wrote in a journal about themselves and Glenwood Springs, including pictures of themselves and postcards of the area. These were sent to a friend, acquaintance, or relative in another state or country.
Recipients were asked to write in the journal about themselves and where they live, including pictures, and mail it on. Also, they were to send a postcard to our class, so we could keep track of the journals. A U.S. map and a world map were placed in the hallway near the literacy room. As postcards arrived they were mounted with a string attached to the appropriate place on the map.
Not only the students but the custodians, secretaries, teachers, parents and others who came by were fascinated and spent time studying our wall.
Some journals, but sadly not all, have returned from their journeys. Each child keeps his journal after it is shared with the class. Many have been around the world, including 24 states and 20 countries. The participants have learned much about life in other places. One journal traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, and told of two homeless boys (10 and 13 years old) who have been living on the beach for months, waiting for their parents return. Another journal has an entry from a person who was working in the Pentagon at the time of the 9-11 attacks.
Students have all learned from the project and those students whose journals have returned have a keepsake of historical significance.
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