To celebrate President-elect Obama's inauguration Jan. 20 and National Handwriting Day on Jan. 23, 5-year-old students in Susan Py's class participated in "Mail to the Chief! Letters of Advice from America's Children."
The project is sponsored by Handwriting Without Tears, a national program designed to make legible and fluent handwriting an easy and automatic skill for all students through educationally sound instructional methods.
The only requirements were that letters had to be handwritten and postmarked by Dec. 15.
Handwriting the letters was required because it "promotes an organized approach to communication, maximizes thinking time and boosts creativity," according to Handwriting Without Tears Web site, hwtears.com.
Thousands of children participated, and their letters will be hand-delivered to the White House on Jan. 23.
"We started our writing in September, so we didn't have much time," Py said.
"They told me their own little thoughts. I wrote it down for them, and they copied what I wrote."
Py and her aide, Christina Snow, said the students' letters were nothing short of creative.
Copies of the letters sat in a stack on a round table in the classroom Wednesday, and the students, including Kathleen May, were eager to share their well-wishes.
"May angels be with you," she said, reading from her paper. "(He needs angels) because he's president."
Many of the students' messages included "God Bless," and "Good Luck."
Emma Kaftan said she hopes the president "gets a dog."
"A black or brown one, because they are very cute," she said, smiling. "He can name it Bacco."
Kaftan said if she could write another letter, she'd tell the new president: "I hope you have good days at the White House."
Jonathan McClung said Obama's sure to have fun because he'll get to "vote."
Dominic Faetanini had valuable advice.
"If I was the president, I would hide all my treasures in somewhere safe, like behind my desk," he said.
When asked if he thought Obama was going to have fun in office, Brad Holbrook sat up straight, a serious look on his face.
"No," he said. "He's the president."