100 postcards — and counting — from around the world for Grade 4 class in Labrador

·3 min read
A world map hangs in Stephanie Nadeau's Grade 4 classroom with string connecting postcards to their place of origin. (Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter - image credit)
A world map hangs in Stephanie Nadeau's Grade 4 classroom with string connecting postcards to their place of origin. (Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter - image credit)

A Labrador classroom project asking for people around the world to send in postcards has the students involved in awe over the response.

Teacher Stephanie Nadeau started the project in her Grade 4 social studies class at the Labrador Straits Academy in L'Anse Au Loup, a small southern Labrador community.

Nadeau said she wanted her students to learn about other cultures so she posted a simple call on social media in November.

"It's been incredible, honestly. We've been overwhelmed with how much response we've been getting," Nadeau said. "It's been amazing getting postcards every day in the mail and then putting them up on display for everyone to see. It's been absolutely amazing. We're so grateful."

In less than two months, the class has received more than 100 postcards from 15 countries. They have postcards from nine provinces and territories in Canada — still looking for postcards from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories — and 18 states in the United States.

The classroom's map is now adorned with strings connecting countries to their postcards. Nadeau said the response was more than she ever expected.

Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter
Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter

One student named Amira said she learned through a postcard that Hamburg, Germany, has the second biggest port in Europe. A student named Jonah said he learned some countries have snow while others do not.

Nadeau said some postcards have been extremely detailed, like one from David Farnell, who was born in Germany, lived all around the U.S., and is now a university professor in Fukuoka, Japan. Farnell said it's important children are exposed to other cultures.

"Another culture is another way of looking at the world," Farnell said. "Learning how to see things from the point of view of other people and other cultures really expands how we can see the world.

"That gives us a lot more flexibility and opens up a lot more possibilities for us and also for making the world a better place."

Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter
Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter

Christa Schade was living in northern Germany when she saw Nadeau's post. Originally from Mary's Harbour, Labrador, Schade decided it was a perfect learning opportunity for her own children as well.

Her children picked out the postcards and her oldest daughter wrote out facts about their town before putting them in the mail. The family saw a photograph of their postcard pinned to the wall with string connecting it to Germany a few weeks later.

Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter
Stephanie Nadeau/Twitter

"It's a wonderful thing for kids to just to see what's out there," Schade said. "There is so much to see, there's so much to do.… There are good people and good things to find everywhere, everywhere, and we're not trees — we don't have to stay in one place all the time."

Schade, who grew up in small-town Labrador, said the world can seem scary but she hopes her cards show the students there are people around the world who want to help others and have fun together.

Nadeau said she hopes the cards keep coming in and her students' world education continues.

"Thank you so, so much and keep sending them," Nadeau said with a laugh.

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