Jan. 13, 2020 -- Mindy Hamilton’s special education class led a building-wide initiative to collect postcards from every state in the country. Hamilton and fellow teachers promoted the initiative using social media to connect with friends and sent students home with flyers so that their families could do the same. The whole school cheered when new states were announced over the PA system each morning and everyone enjoyed walking down the hallway that displayed the growing collection. It took a couple of months to complete the mission but by the end, students had covered every state many times over including Washington, D.C. and about thirty foreign nations.
Since Ms. Hamilton’s class has students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade, Ms. Hamilton figured comparing geography and facts about populations across the country would be interesting to students and it was. The students eagerly awaited the arrival of each day’s mail, always hoping to check a state off of their master list. New York, California, Florida and Nevada (thanks to Las Vegas) came in early on and often. “It was really easy to see the places people were visiting,” said Ms. Hamilton. Other states were harder to come across. The nation’s first official state, Delaware, proved the most elusive. “The first state was the last to come,” said student Miriam, with a touch of irony in her voice.
After winter break, Ms. Hamilton stood in front of her class with a pile of seven new postcards. The first two were duplicates. But then, Tim'mya said “I knew it was Delaware because Ms. Hamilton got real quiet.” Not only was that postcard from Delaware, but the other five were as well!
Finally, the project was complete. “And we got donuts!” squealed Miriam, after Ms. Hamilton went straight to Ungar’s over her lunch break to purchase kosher donuts for her class in celebration. Fourth grader, Greg, really liked the project saying, “It was amazing how we got every state and it didn’t take too long either.”