I am a special education teacher at one of the best schools around. We are a Pre-K-5 school with over 1000 students from diverse backgrounds. We are part of a larger learning community, and we engage our neighboring community for food banks, needy child fund, a tela-medicine clinic, club day, leadership events, parent nights, Good News Club, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girls Inc and so much more!
We are a Lighthouse status "Leader In Me" school where everyone can be a leader.
Everyone has genius, and we develop the whole child by building relationships and empowering students. We are a diverse community. Despite our large size, we partner up for many things and relationships are built beyond your own classroom. We do club days where students from multiple grades work together on things that interest them. Older students often give up their recess to help the younger students practice sight words and math facts.
My students are at home like so many others and missing social interactions with their peers and teachers. While we have the technology to call on the phone, use Zoom, or email; they need help from their parents to set it up because they don't have their own phones and are using shared Chromebooks with family.
Letter writing has become a lost art.
I found it to be a necessity to mail things to to my students for distance learning and the students love it. It was missing the student engagement part. Parents would tell me on Dojo that they got the mail, but they don't have stamps or envelopes, as everything is online these days. I then started sending stamped envelopes in the letters I mailed so the students can respond back. Each time I send mail, I get more students sending drawings, writing stories, and creating art. They are used to writing thank you letters to Donors Choose, so many are writing thank you notes.
I will use the large envelopes to send my students an encouraging note, a stamped envelope for return, and something for learning and art. I've sent thin books, construction paper, and cards. This requires a little extra postage for the extra ounce of weight. The requested materials will provide 100 letters from me and 100 letters from my students.
My students get excited to get mail and get to practice letter writing and creativity as they send letters to me or peers.
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