South Lawrence children write to President Obama

January 29, 2013 by  

As part of the ‘Mail to the Chief’ initiative, 1,000 schools will be sending personal letters to the President, with each letter describing their individual hopes for America. The program launched in 2008, when the White House received 35,000 handwritten letters from different schools.

On January 11, a fourth grade class at South Lawrence East Elementary, led by Kristen Ando, wrote letters to the President. Each letter talked about different topics; including school security, the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and uprising gas prices.

Handwriting Without Tears, based in Gaithersburg, sponsors the letter-writing program, which instructs students from kindergarten through fifth grade to write their feelings and greatest ideas down on paper.

Jan Olsen, therapist and the Handwriting Without Tears founder, commended the program for helping to show the kids how powerful written word can be, as well as providing a platform for them to express themselves. Olsen said:

“We had such a terrific response. It’s a way of engaging children in the workings of government, saying ‘You can’t vote yet, but you know what? You can write a letter.’ ”

The letters had to be postmarked by January 15, and their content was very different to in 2008.

Jennifer Papasdoro, an occupational therapist for second-graders at Horace Mann Elementary, states:

“This time, there were more serious topics. One asked about why we have so many homeless people.”

Mary Toomey, South Lawrence’s Principal, also added that the programs helps children realize that their voice is worth something. With so many opinions to be heard, it seems like an excellent opportunity for print companies to get involved.