America Responds to Third-Graders

As part of their study of the 50 states, Langley third-graders are reaching out to small towns across America – and they are getting a big response. Each student is researching a specific state, from its geography and culture to its history and industries. What better way to learn about a state than from the people who actually live there?

So our students identified local, small-town newspapers in their state and wrote letters to the editor asking local residents to send items to help them learn more about the state. Letters from our third-graders have appeared in nearly 250 newspapers across the country, and America is responding! Envelopes and boxes from the generous people of Alaska, Nebraska, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, and more have arrived at Langley filled with letters, postcards, maps, flags, pictures, and souvenirs. Some of the most unique items include a Saints jersey, king cake, and Mardi Gras beads from New Orleans, a piece of cotton from Mississippi, and a handmade potholder from Alaska.

"The students are so excited to come in each day and see what packages have arrived from their state," says third-grade teacher Shari Bozorgzad, who organized a similar project at her former school. "They can read about their state in books and online, but gathering information from the actual citizens gives them a unique perspective and understanding. We are amazed at the generosity of the American people!"

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