DERRY — South Range Elementary School students are learning all about what it takes to get the mail through.
Students and staff kicked off the school’s annual Wee Deliver student-run mail program on Oct. 18. Children are given the opportunity to become postmasters, clerks and letter carriers. They learn writing skills, literacy, and the joys and rewards of getting a job done.
South Range is just one of thousands of schools across the nation that participate in the program. Grinnell Elementary has been hosting its post office for more than 15 years.
Two former Grinnell staffers, Kyle Sachs and David Poole, now work at South Range, so they decided to keep the momentum going as a successful advisory duo to help oversee the Wee Deliver program.
Poole, in his third year teaching fifth grade at South Range, said it’s good to be able to work with Sachs again on the postal program.
“I thought we could be reunited again,” he said.
Students assigned to this year’s post office as postmaster and assistants were sworn in by Derry Postmaster Carol Hauser.
Fifth-grader Isabella Dinnen will lead the postal service and her two officers in charge are Marissa Asmega and Samantha Donovan, also in the fifth grade.
Isabella said she was chosen to be the postmaster and was excited about taking on the challenge of helping get mail to classrooms, teachers and other students.
She was also able to hand pick her assistants, both good friends.
“We are BFFs,” Marissa said.
Other students, representing all grades, will work as clerks, sorters and carriers. Classrooms have addresses so students can write to each other, as well as to teachers and staff.
Principal Matt Olson encouraged children to write letters to each other, to their teachers and other staff members.
“I love receiving letters from you,” he said at the assembly. “I also love writing back to all of you.”
Wee Deliver has been a national school program for more than 20 years, teaching students literacy skills, along with how to organize and plan a school post office.
South Range’s post office will operate one day a week, with postal headquarters in the school library, Sachs said.
In addition to the post office, students created a stamp design with winning entries now hanging in the school hallway.
“It’s wonderful to see the kids writing letters,” Sachs said. “It’s good to see the joy they get in receiving the letters, too.”