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The wall outside Lynn Johnson’s first grade classroom displays all the postcards the students received, as well as a corresponding map of where the postcards came from. Joe Bowen/FOCUS

St. Henry’s students make friends from all 50 states

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Lynn Johnson has been teaching first grade for nearly 20 years. Each year, her students send letters to friends, family and acquaintances across the country with the hope of receiving a postcard reply. This year, for the first time, Johnson’s class heard back from someone in all 50 states, and she and her students couldn’t be happier.

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“It’s been a very good educational opportunity,” Johnson said during an interview last week while her students showed off their favorite postcards, including a painted coconut from Hawaii and a wooden postcard from Maine, which they agreed was the most unusual.

“They’re learning about their surroundings,” she added.

The first graders also received replies from 12 different countries, including Germany, New Zealand, France, Cameroon and Australia. Two governors responded, as well – from Mississippi and Rhode Island.

The students said the “coolest” postcard came from Rhode Island, because they never thought they’d get a reply from a state that small.  Indiana, Florida and Texas were close seconds.

Last Wednesday, the class held a “states party” to celebrate their achievement.

“Everything we did had to do with states,” she said.

The class played state bingo, filled out state maps and participated in other activities about the states.

When asked about their favorite part of the experience, the class enthusiastically said, “Everything!”

The first graders plan to give their postcards back to their family members at the end of the year.

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jbowe
Joe Bowen, a 2009 graduate of St. John's University, is the newest member of the Perham Focus team. He enjoys writing, rugby, and hamburgers.
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