Second graders live story in Langley post office

Langley Postmaster Jack Harrington listens to a question posed by Ronin Fisher as other second graders mingle behind them in the post office lobby.

A storyteller with help from teacher Leslie Woods brought a busload of second graders to the Langley Post Office earlier this month.

Postmaster Jack Harrington greeted the children in the lobby, then they were led of a tour of the inner workings of the post office.

Storyteller Jill Johnson worked with the students all week to help them understand the feelings of the people in a story she told about a post office, and used those feelings in saying their lines. Through games and tongue twisters, she helped them learn to speak clearly and with a strong voice.

“She taught them that every part of the story was important, and they must work together to create a strong presentation,” said Woods.

Johnson and Woods tied the experience to second- grade goals about interacting with community and understanding the important role of the post office. They discussed how the Internet has impacted the postal service.

“Most students had never written a letter or visited the post office,” Woods said. “Just like in the story, when they met their postal worker, he or she knew who they were and many facts about their family.”

One letter carrier promised that she would put a dog treat in the box of every student who has a dog on her route.

“It was a wonderful connection and students were excited to see what happens to their letter when it is mailed,” Woods said.

Johnson’s stay at the school was made possible by the Artist in Residence program, started by South Whidbey residents concerned about keeping arts in the schools.

Johnson said it was a wonderful experience, and being able to spend a full week with the class gave her time to explain the full storytelling experience, from beginning to end.