These journeys are made possible by volunteer Time Capsule Postmasters. They are the volunteers who deliver forward these priceless letters. Each year a student stores all the letters they have from family, and they letter they write to themselves, in one large self-addressed envelope. The job of the postmaster is to organize and store these letters for each class so that they can be returned to the child the next school year before the letter writing starts again.
Want to help deliver this priceless mail? Your work will make the School Time Capsule Project possible in the school you care about.
You can also help start a Time Capsule Project in any school you want to see improve. Share this project information with the principal. Ask if this could become a Parent Teacher Association Project. They could raise the $900 now required to purchase a 700-pound vault from Costco.com, delivered, that is now being used in most schools.
Share the School Time Capsule Project Manual from these pages with the school especially the teachers most involved in teaching writing. This is a writing project that helps students experience the power of writing.
This writing exercise, carried forward year to year by your volunteer "postmaster" work, will show students the power of writing. Writing is too often the weakest link in the education of our students!
These goals are possible!
Simply helping letters that students, parents, and other important relatives write, to get back to the student a year, or a decade later, makes it all possible!
Imagine handing out year-old letters to 5th graders. Year-old letters are very old to most students.
Volunteer School Time Capsule Postmasters are needed to help these goals be achieved! Their work makes a system possible that focuses both students and parents on their own roots & goals, year by year, from pre-k through graduation. They help the 10-year class reunions happen!
|Some of those attending the ten-year reunion May 2, 2017 for Quintanilla's 8th grade class from 2007.|
Each postmaster invests possibly 40 hours a year helping store hundreds, if not thousands of letters parents and students write for the School Time Capsule Vault, a large 500 to 700-pound vault usually placed in the school lobby, a place students and parents pass it as often as possible.
It begins with pre-k enrollment when each parent is asked to write a letter to their child about their dreams for them. The letters are written each year and go into the vault in the envelope for each child.
This process changes by the third grade when two annual writing assignments begin. Students write a letter to each of their parents, and may expand in later years to favorite relatives, especially grandparents. Students write to ask for letters back about dreams the writers have for the student and for a story from the writer's personal history. Students should always immediately read letters they receive back. They then ask the writer any questions they may have. Hopefully this will lead to those priceless conversations we should have more often with our children and grandchildren.
A year is a very long time. Students change significantly. Thus the "Time Capsule" term is appropriate from the perspective of both the student, and their parents who see the massive year-to-year changes every child's life reflects.
Postmaster(s) make this system possible. They manage the archiving system so that they can personally hand back to each student the envelope they prepared a year earlier. They will see that twinkle in the student's eye as students try to remember what they wrote a year earlier.
The letter writing starts as parents write their first letter to their child about their dreams for them. This letter goes with the pre-k application. It is the first of 14 annual letters to their child about their dreams for them. These letters will develop and gain detail as their child grows.
The Postmaster(s) will also help for the special 10-year-in-the-future dreams and plans that happen in the 8th grade, and then again in the 12th grade. They will ultimately be helping to coordinate those 10-year 8th grade and 12th grade class reunions. At the high school level they may simply staff the "Time Capsule Table" at the traditional high school 10-year reunion. They will pass back the letters written 10-years earlier.
I personally consider this to be the most rewarding volunteer work possible. You will see a school change before your very eyes! Your work allows students to begin to know in more detail their own family roots and make their own plans for the future, updating their plans every year. Grades and behavior both improve! Student confidence grows! Then you see tears of joy at the class reunions as they are thankful and celebrate what they have achieved.
Please call the Dallas ISD Volunteer Center (972-925-5440) about becoming a Time Capsule Postmaster. You may even help start such a project in a school you want to change. Use the word "Postmaster" and they will know what you are calling about.
To see more details about the project, read the manual that is found at www.StudentMotivation.org.
This is an open source project that is ran independently by each school. We only ask that Project improvements discovered be shared.
Bill Betzen, firstname.lastname@example.org