Remember the days when children routinely wrote thank-you letters to relatives, or how exciting it was to correspond with a pen pal in another country.
The U. S. Postal Service and educational publisher Scholastic have teamed up to rekindle that interest, and promote letter writing as a critical English language skill for U.S. schoolchildren.
This is not their first collaboration to encourage children to communicate through the written word, but it is the first time that the classroom has gone remote. Because teachers, parents and students are now at home, supporting classroom materials have been supplemented with lessons geared towards remote learning.
This year’s edition of the initiative — designed for students in grades 3 and 4 — is known as “Show Someone You Care.”
Online resources include templates and activity sheets for eight daily topics: letters of gratitude, writing to an elder, letters across the distance, writing to a favorite author, letters of encouragement, writing to pen pals, letters of celebration and letters of reflection.
The lessons not only encourage self-expression around those topics, they also cover life skills such as properly addressing an envelope, buying and using stamps, and mailing cards and letters.
Among the templates online are printable greeting cards provided by Hallmark.
Over the years, the partnership with Scholastic has allowed the Postal Service to reach around 90,000 teachers and 3 million students annually.
“Right now, the social bonds reflected in letter writing are more important than ever,” said USPS Brand Marketing Executive Director Chris Karpenko. “We’re always excited to see new generations embrace handwritten letters as a way to share love, show thanks and build meaningful connections.”
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.