Thursday, February 20, 2020

Elementary School (Pk-5) Time Capsule Project Recommendations

It is recommended that the first act with the Time Capsule Project start with parents as they enroll their child in Pre-K.  With the application ask that the parent submit a simple letter to their child about their dreams for them. They are asked to read it to their child at home and then sealed into an envelope addressed to their child to be brought to school. At school it is placed into the School Time Capsule, the 700-pound vault placed in a very visible location of the school lobby. Hopefully the location allows it to be seen by parents and students as often as possible.

Let parents know that such letters from each parent to their child, and grandparents if they also want to be involved, will be requested each year as their child will be changing rapidly.  They will be returned each year so they can be updated and changed as needed every year.

The process changes in the third grade as the child will initiate the process with a letter they write to each parent and other relative they want a letter back from.  Here is recommended wording for directions that can be given students for writing this letter beginning in the third grade:


Directions for 3rd through 5th grade students for the first of two Time Capsule Project writing lessons each year:

What are your dreams for me?
Time Capsule Project Letter Student Directions
Elementary School  2-20-20

Write a letter to each of the most important adults in your life. Write to each parent, grandparent, and/or other relatives, or even school staff, if you want letters from them.     

Ask them to write you a letter telling you their dreams for you.

Ask that they also write one story from your family’s history, or your history with them. It can be a story they want you to remember and maybe someday share with your own children.  

As your parents and/or relatives finish their letter, immediately read it with them. Ask them questions so you can understand their letter well.  

Bring the letters you have received to school. Bring them on the day your teacher says you will write a letter to yourself for the Time Capsule.

In class, first prepare the return envelope for all your letters. Put your name and home address on the envelope with your phone number. As the return address place your 
teacher's name, your grade, and the name and address of the school you attend, and finally the date you are addressing the envelope.  Your teacher will check this envelope as you write your letter to yourself.

You will write a letter to yourself about your thoughts on the letters you have received and what they said.  Then you write about your own dreams for your future.  When finished place your letter into the self-addressed envelope you have prepared. Seal it and they will be collected to be placed in the School Time Capsule in the container for your grades letters.

Your envelope will return to you in one year.


The existence of these letters from parents and students themselves will be in the background as school work continues.  As goal issues come up during class it can be mentioned as something that will be updated next year.

This letter writing is recommended for the start of the school year but it can be done at any time the teacher in a grade find it convenient.  If possible, for the entire school to do the letter writing at the same time may be easiest.

Each year, before the letter writing starts the Time Capsule Postmaster Volunteers will need to have a day to sort the letters into the classes students are currently attending.   It is recommended that each year the class roster with home addresses be placed into the class container and into the vault to help in knowing the students.

Each year some students may have moved out of the school.  It is recommended that if they school they are moving to is also a school with a Time Capsule Project, that the letter be sent to that school to help welcome them and continue the letter writing there.  If it is not a Time Capsule Project school, then send the letter to the new home address. 

The first weeks of what would be the 6th grade it is recommended that the Postmasters sort the letters by the new schools the students are attending and have the letters delivered to that school if they are Time Capsule Schools. If not, again, just mail the letters to the home address.

Since most of the students will be going to the middle school in the feeder pattern, most of the letters will be going to that school.  If this transition is managed well and students know their letters will be following them to the new middle school, this may lessen the loss of students during this often painful transition when as much as 12% of enrollment is lost.

Questions are welcomed!  Bill Betzen,

No comments:

Post a Comment