Tupelo students send message on ballons

TUPELO – Joyner Elementary students tested a new air mail system Friday morning.
Each of the school’s roughly 150 second-graders wrote a letter, typed it and attached it to a balloon. The students released those balloons Friday, hoping that the early-morning wind would carry them to far-flung corners of the globe.
“Mine will go to China because balloons go everywhere,” said second-grader Khalil McGlaun.
In their letters, the students described their hometown, told what they were learning in school and posed questions to the stranger who would receive them.
They also scribbled Joyner Elementary’s address in the hopes that their message would draw a reply from a distant ZIP code. The letters were laminated to protect them from the weather.
“We thought this would be a great way to get our students excited about writing letters and to share information about their community and the things we’re doing at school,” said Joyner second-grade teacher Callie Spivey, who hatched the idea for the project.
Spivey said the students would map the places from which they receive replies and then research the different locations.
Joyner Elementary Principal Jason Harris said that one of the greatest lessons of the exercise was simply having students practice the art of writing letters.
“In this age of quick texts, the formal writing process has gone away,” Harris said. “We have to prepare them for the future, and you’re going to have to write letters.”
Second-grader Campbell Kellett said her balloon would float to Africa. Then she changed her mind.
“I want mine to go to Paris,” she said. “My cousin is named Paris.”

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal