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Virginia student seeks to find information about Arkansas

March 18, 2019

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) — An elementary student in northern Virginia is hoping to hear from the Twin Lakes Area.

Khaled (last name withheld by request), a third-grade student at The Langley School in McLean, Va., recently submitted a letter to The Baxter Bulletin asking for information and items from The Natural State.

Molly Lyons, Khaled’s teacher, said her class had previously been studying geographic regions of the county but had begun focusing on individual states, with each student being assigned to research a specific one.

“They try to learn all about that state,” Lyons said to The Baxter Bulletin. “They do a lot of research here in school and they read a lot of nonfiction sources about their states. We also reach out to the people of the states in hopes of receiving some authentic information about the state and the people who live there.”

At the end of May, the students will make displays showcasing their assigned states and hold a “state fair” that other grades will visit.

“Some of the information that we get for our projects will be from books and websites, but the best information is from the people who live in each state. This is why I am writing to you,” Khaled says in his letter to The Bulletin. “I am hoping that you would be willing to send me some items to help me learn more about the best things in your state. It could be things like postcards, maps, pictures, souvenirs, general information, or any other items that would be useful.”

His letter asks that items be mailed to Ms. Lyons’ Class at The Langley School in McLean, Virginia.

In a recent phone interview, Khaled said he was very interested in the state’s history. He has not visited the state, he said, but did identify Little Rock as the state capital and the mockingbird as the state bird.

“I would like a mockingbird. Not the bird itself, just a picture,” he said.

The third-grader said he was also very interested in the state’s motor vehicle license plate.

In addition to mailing The Bulletin, Khaled mailed letters to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, the Southwest Times-Record in Fort Smith, the Camden News and the Texarkana Gazette. In the letters, Khaled introduces himself, explains his school project and asks that the newspapers print an enclosed letter in newspapers’ letters to the editor section.

Lyons said students usually just start receiving items from their states, and don’t typically receive any kind of communication that the student’s letters have been published. Khaled’s interaction with The Bulletin for this story was a first for his class.

“I am the first one to grant an interview,” he proudly noted.

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Information from: The Baxter Bulletin, http://www.baxterbulletin.com

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