Much to our delight, this letter (yes, via snail mail) from Ethan, a third-grade student at The Langley School in McLean VA, arrived with the following request. We e-mailed Ethan’s teacher, Ms. Molly Lyons, with a suggestion to include a project e-mail for people who wish to participate electronically. Lyons said she’ll look into it. She also wrote: “Students research and find newspapers on their own and we’re never quite sure who will receive and publish our letters. You’re the first editor we’ve heard back from.”
Dear People of California,
Hello! I am a third-grade student in Northern Virginia. Our class is learning about the United States, and I will be teaching our school all about the state of California. In the month of May, I will create a display for our State Fair that showcases the unique story of California and I need your help!
Although I have gathered facts about your state from books and websites, I think that I can receive the best information from the people who live there. This is why I am writing to you. I am hoping that you would be willing to send me some items to help me learn more about the best things in your state. I am most interested in history, traditions, and culture that make your state unique. You might consider sending things like postcards, photographs, souvenirs, this newspaper [letter], or other unique items that I can learn from. You also might consider answering some of the following questions:
- Why do you live in California?
- What first brought your family there?
- What do you like most about California?
- What is your job?
- What does California look, feel, and/or sound like?
- What traditional food and/or recipes does California have?
- What attractions are in California?
- What is a popular sport in California?
I will need to gather all of my information by the first week of May. Please mail items to: Ms. Lyon’s Class, Attn.: Ethan, The Langley School, 1411 Balls Hill Road, McLean,VA 22101.
Thank you, Ethan