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Local Students Engage in Letter Writing Campaign to President-Elect Obama

Jefferson 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 January 23.

"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,, as a participant in this program.

Students had varying suggestions on how to improve the country.

"Begin government work projects that will hire people who have lost their jobs. It worked during the Great Depression, so it may work now," said Euli C.

"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.

Handwriting 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.

"This 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."

Prior 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.

"I 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."

"These 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.

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
January 14, 2009