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By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY— For the past two years, the students of Kelly Risselman’s fifth-grade class have been putting together what they have come to know as travel journals.
“At the beginning of the school year, students prepare a travel journal,” Risselman said. “They take an unused notebook and use the first page to write a letter introducing themselves.”
One Glenwood City student, Brady Thompson, began his journal with things he enjoys doing living in Wisconsin including what his favorite color of leaves were, which he explained is green, and also said in the winter time he enjoys building snow forts.
Throughout the letter Brady, explained where he was from, where his school was located in the state of Wisconsin and which county he was from.
He went on to say what surrounded the school, such as crop fields, trees and farms, and also mentioned the number of students in the entire school and in his classroom.
“We had a class project that we were going to send it out to different people and I sent it to my cousin, and he sent it to the White House,” Thompson said.
When Thompson first sent out his journal, he explained he sent it to a cousin who sent it to the White House just in the off chance that Trump would send a letter back.
It was to Brady’s surprise when he got a letter on March 8 that was addressed from the White House and enclosed inside was a letter from President Donald Trump.
“I was really excited,” said Thompson. “My parents were really excited too.”
In the letter, President Trump encouraged Brady, along with his class, to continue to work hard, do their best in school and never stop learning.
Along with the letter, Brady received a card that had information about our current president.
“This is the first time I have ever had a student receive something from our president,” said Risselman. “Our entire class was so excited!”
With each journal an instructional sheet is inside to the one receiving the notebook and asks recipients to write a little something about where they live as well as send a postcard to the classroom before sending the journal on to someone else.
“Throughout the school year we receive postcards from all over the United States and sometimes from other countries around the world,” Risselman explained. “This is how students keep track of where their journal is visiting.”
As the postcards come in the class discusses and locates the city or country on the map, giving a lead-in to a geographical discussion.
Students hang their postcards on the wall and put a flag on the map to pinpoint the location they received their postcards from.
This year students received postcards from Sri Lanka, Australia, Ethiopia, all over Europe and the Philippines.
Typically in the middle of May the travel journals begin to make their way back to Glenwood City Elementary for students to take home and enjoy with their families, said Risselman.