A fresh look at postcards
Good day, kind readers!
Do you find watching the nightly news depressing?
Yes, me too. But sometimes it’s worth it when the broadcast ends with an uplifting story, which brings me to a recent On the Road feature of the CBS Nightly News. It told the story of a father who sends his children postcards nearly every day. It started when he dropped his daughter off at college. After crying all the way home, he sent her a postcard, telling her that he missed and loved her, and he hasn’t stopped yet. Over the last 20 years, he has sent nearly 20,000 cards to each of his four children.
Today’s Boulder: Postcards
After watching the feature, I was reminded that sending and receiving postcards involves both reading and writing, and might help encourage writing. Through my online research, I found a great article entitled “Eight Reasons Why You Should Be Writing Postcards.” Here they are:
1. It shows you care — While sending an email or text is quicker, the effort involved in choosing a postcard, addressing, writing a message and mailing it let’s the recipient know that you care.
2. It helps you stand out from the crowd — In the late 1800s and early 1900s, sending postcards was common and an easy way to communicate. Today, communicating electronically is easy, which is why receiving a postcard is rather special.
3. It can chronicle your travels — Postcards are often only associated with travel and the message, “Wish you were here.” A better way to think of them is as an opportunity to create or contribute to a travel journal. Just write about what you are doing and mail it home!
4. It lasts a lifetime — Sure, you can print out an email, but then what? Postcards are a great snapshot that are easy to store and fun to look through years later.
5. It relieves stress — I confess that this one didn’t make sense at first. The author is referring to the act of making a postcard as a creative process, and just 45 minutes of creativity can reduce stress.
6. You might receive one back — And getting something personal in the mail can be a nice surprise. Remember what it was like to get mail when you were a child? Developing the practice of sending and receiving postcards can be a great way to build writing habits.
7. It looks great on the wall — A postcard, especially one with a family photo, is a treat and a visual reminder.
8. It is the perfect way to thank someone — Yes, it is perfect, especially if you have difficulty getting your children to write thank-you notes. The small space on a postcard is a lot less intimidating to a reluctant writer.
r I H.R. 4909 — STOP School Violence Act of 2018 update: The list of cosponsors is up to 71 and includes two Republican representatives from Pennsylvania.
r There are websites like Send Kids the World that enables you to send postcards to children with life-threatening illnesses, as well as their siblings. http://www.sendkidstheworld.com
r Are you a deltiologist? Would you like to be? A deltiologist is a person who collects postcards.
r Children’s books worth reading, regardless of your age: “Read the Book, Lemmings!” by Ame Dyckman (author) and Zachariah OHora (illustrator), “Prudence, the Part-Time Cow” by Jody Jensen Shaffer (author) and Stephanie Laberis (illustrator).
Would you like to receive a postcard in the mail? If you send your address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll send you or a member of your family a postcard!
Kathy Gephart is a retired public school educator and the founder of Stone Soup Literacy (www.stonesoupliteracy.com) whose mission is to build readers, one community at a time. Email Kathy at email@example.com.