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Digital Postcards Connect Antioch Gators With the World

Mr. Barrett and his third-grade students show off postcards and gifts they've gotten though using Postcrossing.com to connect with pen pals around the world!

 Some may feel that the art of writing letters and post cards is becoming a lost art in our ever-increasing digital world, but many students in 3rd grade at Antioch are keeping up with many different pen pals around the world in an effort to keep post offices around the world busy delivering letters and postcards.
Mr. Barrett says, “I have my students send out 20 to 25 postcards per month through a website called Postcrossing.com. Just this last week we sent 12 postcards to: Russia, Spain, The Netherlands, South Korea, Ukraine, Denmark, Taiwan, Australia, Germany, Portugal, France and Italy. I have been a member for over 2 years and the students really enjoy writing folks all over the world. They are able to make a real world connection with people and with what they have been learning in class. More importantly than that, students are able to make a connection to their culture, heritage and interests. William and Ty always want to write postcards to China where they were born. Alexandra is always excited to send one to Russia and Keshava is still looking for one to send to India. As is Colin waiting for one to Israel. I also have students whose ancestors are from Ireland, France and Italy. It is just one way to keep in touch with their heritage while sharing their own American culture with others. ”

“I really wanted to write a postcard to someone in France because that is the country I studied for my nonfiction report”, said Ava C. in Mr. Barrett’s class. “Unfortunately,” replied Mr. Barrett,” I assigned that card to someone else, but there will be more to come. Often the children receive responses to their cards.”

“About 2 weeks ago we got a letter from Japan.” says Zoe B. “My friends and I wrote back to him it was a lot of fun. It’s fun to learn what they celebrate.”

Lauren C. says, “It is fun to write to someone across the world and learn about them.” Alexandra L. enjoys writing to someone so far away. Maeve C. likes learning about Japan, “It’s cool!” she says.

Mr. Barrett informs us that they receive all kinds of things in the mail. “I received 2 Belgian folktale books from an elementary school teacher in Gent. It’s really neat that people still want to reach out and share their culture and go to the trouble to find things that they know my students enjoy.”

Just prior to Christmas, Mr. Barrett received a request from an English teacher in Perm Russia asking for her students and his to exchange Christmas cards between classes. “The cards are really cool!” says Jonathan Camps. “We have already written back to them.” says Lacey Craig. “I just really like to see their excitement when they try to figure out how they are going to respond to the questions other students ask.” adds Mr. Barrett.

Mr. Barrett’s and Mrs. Nance’s classes have also written an introduction letter for classes at Miss Steed’s old school in England asking for a pen pal exchange. In Mr. Barrett’s class, Darek A. wrote the letter introducing our boys and Virginia B. did the same for the girls. “We can’t wait for our replies!” responds Mr. Barrett.

Written by: Adam Barrett, Third Grade Teacher
Posted: Feb 26, 2015 by Kimberly Kovach

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