Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dear Mr. President.....

J-E Editor
A group of Clay Elementary fifth and sixth grade students made a trip to the Clay Post Office last Thursday to mail a very special package. It was not the sort of package one sees everyday, and it is certainly not the sort of package that get’s handled often by our local post office employees. The ultimate destination: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.

That’s right, The White House. More specifically, the Oval Office at The White House.
As part of their writing portfolios for the year, fifth and sixth grade students needed to write persuasive piece. Teacher Cathy Hudson and former Webster County Assistant Superintendant Alan Lossner decided that since the students had to write the pieces anyway, they might as well put them to use.

“The kids were excited to write the President,” said Lossner. “They seemed surprised that you could even do that. So we brainstormed as a class and came up with a list of possible topics that they could pick from. Their assignment was to pick three and then write a letter to Mr. Obama persuading him to take action in these three areas. They were to support each argument with reasons supporting their stance.”

The most popular topic among the fifth and sixth grade students were coal mining, school lunches, jobs, the environment and excessive testing.

“When I taught at Providence, I found that an authentic audience for the writers (students) was always effective because it made the writing more personal and motivated them,” Lossner explained. “We would write to politicians, different embassies from other countries, media celebrities, etc. In this case, we decided to write to President Obama.”

In 2009, Mike Kelleher, director of the White House Office of Correspondence, told New York Times correspondent Ashley Parker that he hand selected 10 letters per day and places them into the president’s daily briefing book.

Some 20,000 thousands letters, emails and voice mails are delivered to The White House on a daily basis.

 at 270-667-2068 or

No comments:

Post a Comment