UPDATE: As of Friday, at 12:15am, I have 158 volunteers. This is a solid 28 more than I asked for, which was already 10 more volunteers than students. I haven’t broken down the male to female ratio of volunteers to students yet (I prefer to keep genders the same), but if I need more people– it’s the males that I need most.
Because so many people signed up, I’m thinking of reaching out to my former students (now 7th & 8th graders) and asking if they’re interested in a pen-pal crew that could meet once a week at McDonald’s and write to the rest of those signed up.
Thank you, so, so, much for all the re-posts, re-tweets, facebook pushes, and kind words. I’m so impressed with humanity and so so excited to pitch this to my students. Expect more updates soon!
Yesterday, while writing my first unit plan, I had a jarring idea that is only possible with this blog, facebook, college degrees, and about 300 stamps.
Using the internets, find roughly 130 working (take that word liberally: school, art, retail, law, all are acceptable) adults (that’s you, reader!) who are willing to spend about 30 minutes and $5 to inspire one of my students.
Each student will write a “Dear Stranger” letter to one of these adults (you). My students will describe themselves, their surroundings, their dreams, and their lives. In response (and only in response… you’ll get one first), an adult will write back about (handwritten or typed, but all snail mail) what s/he remembers of sixth grade, what college, trade school, or working life has been like so far, and give advice for my students as they begin their last years in our elementary school.
And the $5? Because let’s be real, free swag means the world to students. If possible, I’d also ask you to spend no more than $5 on one small trinket from your alma mater or current work place. It could be a pencil, lanyard, pen, sticker, folder, whatever you can manage. This part might be removed if it’s too much of a convenience barrier for writers. (No money to me or kids, just you spending a few dollars to give something tangible kids can proudly tote around to remind them of future success.)
Is 30 minutes and a stamp something you can manage?
If you’re interested in helping me with this project (please be interested! please!), then fill out this form showing your interest. I’ll be in touch within a week with a status update.
Again, I need about 130 people. As much as I love TFA, I’d prefer to not have majority corps members participate, so please pass the form address and this blog post to any and all working professionals you know! I want as much diversity in workforce and current location as possible, but that doesn’t mean current teachers shouldn’t volunteer… just spread the word!
Thanks so much in advance.
Keeping my fingers crossed something amazing’s about to come of this.