As part of the Pleasant Avenue Postal System (“PAPS”), students apply and interview to be postmasters and mail carriers, sorting and delivering student-created mail. These jobs are rotated monthly. Letters and cards are written in all Pleasant Avenue classrooms as part of purposeful learning, and then delivered by PAPS workers through hallways labeled with street signs such as “Reading Way.”
PAPS is the vision of teachers Mrs. MariJo Quinn (kindergarten) and Mrs. Nancy Lisicki (first grade), who last year received a JTA mini-grant to help make their vision a reality. JTA mini-grants are small sums of seed money distributed by the Johnstown Teacher’s Association that grow into fantastic experiences for students. Money from the mini-grant was used to purchase posters explaining such things as “How to Write a Friendly Letter” and to provide mailboxes for classrooms.
As the elder statesmen in the Pleasant Avenue building, first grade students were chosen to work as postmasters, assistant postmasters and letter carriers through an application and interview process. The students were required to complete the application themselves – no parental assistance allowed. They did so well with this process that all 67 applicants were presented with certificates congratulating them for being hired.
The student-body was then introduced to PAPS during a Morning Program skit and a classroom directory was distributed. With PAPS officially open for business, students began putting pencils to paper to write letters and cards, and learning the correct way to address an envelope.
The students are very excited to send mail to friends and acquaintances in other rooms. During the first week of operation, PAPS workers sorted, stamped and delivered 103 letters/cards – and the mailbox continues to overflow!