4th graders learn culture through post card project

By Everett Brazil, III

The Newkirk Herald Journal

NEWKIRK — Fourth graders in Peggy Renfro’s class have recently visited states far across the country, from the east coast to the west. They have done their travel all from the comfort of their classroom, as they have set a goal to have at least one post card from all 50 U.S. states.

The project began last fall and has seen unexpected support.

“We started back in October, and we didn’t dream it would take off like this,” she said, adding that she stopped counting post cards after 300.

The project arose out of a study of the five major regions of the United States, including New England, Midwest, South, Southwest and Northwest. The idea was to expose the students to not only the various regions of the county, but also the people who lived there.

“It’s knowing that the world is full of wonderful people,” she said.

They also learned about the culture of each state, such as a Florida card featuring alligators, desert plant life from California and a blue crab from Maine.

The project unexpectedly took off, and the cards started pouring in. NES office director Misty Hobbs sometimes takes stacks of cards to the classroom. The students have started posting them on the wall outside their classroom, but there is nowhere room enough for all cards on a single wall.

“For sure, we have over 300 right now, but they’re not all up yet,” she said. “They are coming from a variety of places.”

In the end, though, it is about learning about the people who live in these far-flung places, and making a human connection with everyone.

“They are making connections with the cards,” she said. “My overall goal is to make them learn the country is filled with a variety of places. People are not the same, but they are the same, and I wanted to show them the good side of America, the good side of people.”

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