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People & Culture

This Manitoba class wants your postcards

  • Feb 28, 2013
  • 365 words
  • 2 minutes
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Photo: Henderson Elementary School’s grade-three/four class in Dauphin, Manitoba, is waiting for the first postcards to add to this map of Canada. (Photo courtesy of A.J. Hrychuk)

In the age of social media, snail mail may seem like an outdated way to connect with other Canadians. But one Manitoba elementary class has taken on a project that harnesses the power of both types of mail to teach his class about Canada.

A.J. Hrychuk, 27, posted a letter on Facebook last Sunday asking Canadians to send postcards to his grade-three/four class in Dauphin, Manitoba. On the back, he’s asked senders to share what makes their community unique and what being a Canadian citizen means to them. The teacher plans to display the postcards on a map of Canada posted on the classroom wall.

Photo courtesy of A.J. Hrychuk

The project is about more than teaching the children about Canada’s geography.

“I think (the project) is really going to communicate the power of social media to the students and why it’s so important to be careful about what kind of information you are communicating,” Hrychuk says.

His request is attracting attention. Though the class has yet to receive a postcard, Hrychuk’s initial post has already been shared more than 4,000 times on Facebook. He says he has received messages of support from across the country. “The response has been overwhelming,” he says.

Most of Hrychuk’s students have rarely used social media themselves and Facebook is banned at the school. Hrychuk has used screenshots of his Facebook account to share the project with his students. Still, three students in Hrychuk’s class knew about the postcard project before he had told them, having heard about it through the Facebook grapevine.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities to introduce (social media) to the kids and a lot of them don’t have their own accounts,” Hrychuk says. “So this was a way I could connect our social studies curriculum to social media and model it in a safe and responsible way that enriches learning.”

Follow the class’s project on Facebook.

Send a postcard from your community to Hrychuk’s grade-three/four class:

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