, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 16, 2013

A viral lesson plan

Elementary students' call for postcards travels across the globe


Savannah smiles when asked about her cache of cards, which includes two from the Middle East, one of which features a camel; one from Australia showing its world-famous Sydney Opera House and countless more from other exotic locales.

“It’s very exciting,” Savannah said. “I’d like to try to write back everyone. Maybe send them postcards of Salisbury.”

The cards that are most special to Savannah come from a class of students in South Korea. They study English with a teacher who got wind of Darlene Sweeney’s Facebook posting and proudly sent Savannah cards with pictures of their nation. The cards include personal notes on the back, written in English by her Korean counterparts.

That Korean children about her own age or younger were fluent enough in English to write interesting postcards wasn’t lost on Savannah. One wrote he was 8 and had been studying English since he was 2. He enjoys playing soccer, he wrote, and asked Savannah what she liked to do.

“I brought them in to share, but they aren’t going up on the bulletin board like the others,” Savannah said, shaking her head. “I’m keeping those with me.”

Savannah’s postcards are only a sample of the ones received by the students.

Ashley Perrin got a card from her mother’s sister in Missouri, who she has only seen a couple times. “It was really special to get the postcard from her,” she said.

Kate Olson’s efforts earned her a postcard from the nation’s capital. “It shows the cherry blossoms in bloom,” she said. “I think they’re beautiful.”

After a Swedish friend of Mia Gustafson’s mother visited and heard of the project, she sent a card upon returning to her native land that depicts a famous bridge at Uddevalla that looks remarkably like Boston’s Zakim Bridge.

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