From The Daily Home
by LAURA NATION-ATCHISON
Laura Nation-Atchison/The Daily Home Students at R. L. Young Elementary School in Talladega were busy Wednesday getting their package to Alaska ready to mail. The children are becoming pen pals with students at Denali Montessori Elementary School in Anchorage and are sending gifts with an Alabama twist to their new friends. Pictured with the children are teacher Danni Odom-Winn, top left, and Ophelia Nash, top right. Read more: The Daily Home - From here to Alaska
There’s a huge pine cone and a jug of sorghum syrup, some grits and a flag from Talladega Superspeedway.
And along with all that, there’s a sack of pecans, some Alabama and Auburn mementos and letters, lots of them.
It’s all on its way to Denali Montessori Elementary School in Anchorage, Ak., along with lots of love from children at R. L. Young Elementary School in Talladega.
The package was mailed this week, and the connection between the two schools is planned as a huge cross-curriculum study for the children, the brainstorm of teacher Danni Odom Winn.
“We are so excited about this,” Winn said, packing up the items Wednesday morning with the children. “Everyone will learn a lot from this.”
The children will become pen pals to the children in Anchorage, a wonderful way for them to learn and practice writing skills.
In addition, they will learn about the culture in Alaska, the geography and weather, and all kinds of other things, Winn said.
The gifts were sent as a way of introducing the children in Alaska to some of the things we enjoy in Alabama, she said.
“Our children in Talladega are like a lot of children who live in smaller towns,” she said.
“They often lack an understanding of places outside the immediate world in which they live. Our goal is to bring Alaska with all its grandeur into the lives of our children.”
Winn also sent some Sand Mountain honey, white sand from Alabama’s Gulf Coast, a listing of “Wacky Places to visit in Alabama” and a NASA rocket launch video from Huntsville.
There’s a tiny race car in the box, with an agenda all its own when it arrives in Alaska that Winn is really excited about.
“We will participate in a small way during the Iditarod Dog Sled race,” she said.
The car will travel on board one of the sleds for the 1,150 mile race, which begins March 5 in Anchorage and ends in Nome.
When the race is over, the car will be mailed back to the children.
While the race is taking place, the children will be able to track the progress as they make their way across jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, deep forests, tundra and coastlines.
The possibilities for learning from the Alaska connection are practically endless, Winn pointed out.
Students of all ages are involved with the project and teachers throughout the Talladega School System have joined in, she said.
Laura Nation-Atchison may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: The Daily Home – From here to Alaska