Elementary School fifth graders in Vicki Kulhanek's class had the
chance to express themselves to President-elect Obama for National
Handwriting Day. Their correspondence will be among the 25,000
handwritten letters that will be hand-delivered to the White House on
"I didn't believe it when Ms. Kulhanek
told me that these letters would be going to the White House. It would
be awesome if President Obama read my letter and wrote me back." said
fifth grader David C.
The letters stated concerns
about the country's issues, and the students gave advice to him on how
to fix the problems. Jefferson School, as well as Cooper Elementary
School, are registered on the official website, www.hwtears.com, as a participant in this program.
Students had varying suggestions on how to improve the country.
government work projects that will hire people who have lost their
jobs. It worked during the Great Depression, so it may work now," said
"Lower taxes so that we can have more money to spend on things," said Yu X.
"Stop borrowing money from China, and start paying back the loans," suggested Jasing V.
Without Tears, a nationally recognized writing curriculum, organized
the program and a bunch of students in Arlington put their advice on
paper for the nation's next president.
handwriting activity to the president was the first time my class has
done this," said Kulhanek, whose classroom consists of 20 students.
"When I heard about this activity, I thought this would be a wonderful
way to encourage my students' handwriting skills. With the use of
computers, handwriting is becoming a lost art. Other than signing a
name, students do not use their handwriting skills unless I require it
for an assignment. Handwriting has been shown as a thought process. It
encourages an organized method to communication, and boosts creativity."
to writing their letters students worked on persuasive writing, and
learned how to write a formal letter. The program also gave students
the opportunity to state their feelings and beliefs about the economy
and other issues that our country is facing.
thought it was pretty cool," said Jacob F. of the assignment. "The
president will get to see them. This assignment helped us practice our
cursive writing, and we got to share our ideas with the president."
children are our future, and what we decide now will have an effect on
these children when they become adults. As we study United States
history in fifth grade, I want these children know they do have a voice
in what happens in this country," said Kulhanek.