Monday, March 23, 2009

St. Andrews letters

I spoke a few weeks ago to Cindy Coapland's second-grade class at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. St. Andrew's was having its annual Amarillo Heritage week and Cindy asked me -- nicely -- to come and speak to her class about the history of the Globe-News, figuring probably I'd been around for most of it.

I probaly owed her one anyway, so I went. Second-graders don't want to hear some dry old speech, so I hauled up some famous front pages and old framed copies of the newspaper from yesteryear.

I've spoken to all grade levels, from the youngest to those in college. Without a doubt, that group was the most engaged, best-behaved, most inquisitive class I'd ever been around. Either Cindy read them the riot act just prior (which I doubt), or the more likely case, their parents have done a good job in raising them.

I was wondering how I was going to kill 30 minutes with 7-year-olds, but we could have gone an hour. And I got a St. Andrew's glass, some pencils and some candy for doing so.

Last week, I received 25 thank you letters from the students in the mail. Those notes were most appreciated. Here's some excerpts from a few of them:

"...It was cool learning about different beats. I hope you enjoy your present. From Meredith."

"Thank you for coming and speacing. it was super cool and reely liked ite all the pitrurces. From Bobby Moot."

"...I learned that the news has been around for 83 years. That's a long time. P.S. I hope you liked my news idea. Love your friend, Emily."

"Thank you for coming to St. Andrew's and teaching us about the Amarillo Globe-News and all the amazing stories. I like Hidden Assassin Kills President and Amarillo High burned down. You must of seen lots of things in your life. Sincerely, Jack."

"Thank you for teaching us news. It was so cool. You're great at teaching news at St. Andrew's school and your articles are so so funny. Thanks for telling us what the beat meant. And how do you write so fast? Your fantastic! Your friend, Colin.

(I think Colin has a future in politics).

"...The newspapers that you brought are the most treasured things I have ever seen in my life. Love, Sawyer."

..."My parents love the paper and read it every single day! I love the paper too! The paper is cool! Your friend, Sophie."

"...My favorite cover was Nixon Quits. And I thought it was really cool that first Amarillo Globe-News was called the Amarillo Champion. Your friend, Wyatt."

"...I think you are a very good reporter. I think I would love to be a reporter when I grow up. Your friend, Joe Clarke."

"...I learned that newspapers are not boring. They are actully interesting now that you showed me that they are so much fun I will start to read them. Love, Abby."

"...It must be fun wrighting in the newspapers. Love, Emily B."

"...It is cool that you get to write an article in the newspaper 3 times a week. Respectfully, Khloe."