My assessment class had a lively discussion yesterday about whether or not schools should spend a lot of time teaching handwriting to young children. Not writing, per se, but specifically whether or not teachers should put a lot of effort into making sure children master neat – and by extension legible – handwriting. On one side were those who thought handwriting will eventually become irrelevant as we move more and more towards a technologically-based society. On the other side were those who said they still write handwritten notes and that nothing compares to getting an actual letter in the mail.
So for those who still value the written word, here’s a neat service being offered to kids. Designed for children age six and older, Letters for Kids has enlisted a group of young-adult authors to create letters that will be mailed to subscribers twice a month. The cost is $4.50/month or $48/year. From their website:
You’ll get two letters a month written by middle-grade authors like Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler, Adam Rex, Kerry Madden, Natalie Standiford, Susan Patron, Rebecca Stead, Cecil Castellucci, and more. Some of the letters will be illustrated. Some will be written by hand. It’s hard to say! We’ll copy the letters, fold them, put them in an envelope, put a first class stamp on the envelope, and send the letters to you (or your child).
And if you sign your child up and start to feel left out of the fun, there’s a version for adults called Letters in the Mail. For just $5/month you’ll receive a letter nearly every week – what a deal! Past authors include Stephen Elliott, Margaret Cho, Marie Calloway, Dean Haspeil, Lorelei Lee, Matthew Specktor, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender, Padma Viswanathan, Sari Botton, and Matthew Zapruder. Future authors will include Dave Eggers, Tao Lin, Janet Fitch, Nick Flynn, Lidia Yuknavitch, Cheryl Strayed, Marc Maron, Elissa Schappel, Wendy MacNaughton, Emily Gould, MariNaomi, and Jonathan Ames. Some letters will even include a return address if you want to reply to the author.
Happy reading & writing!