Thanks to the support of APS members like you, we raised over $7000 on Giving Tuesday for the StampsTeach program, more than tripling our 2018 Giving Tuesday impact of $1500.
StampsTeach is a program that provides K–12 educators with ready-made learning activities and philatelic materials to use in their classrooms. This includes lesson plans and activities geared for each grade level in a variety of content areas – including science, math, language arts, health, history, fine arts, and more.
With your Giving Tuesday contributions alone, the APS Education department can share educational materials and resources to as many as 280 classrooms, potentially reaching thousands of students across the country in 2020. In comparison, StampsTeach reached 2,941 students in 2019 and 2,935 students in 2018.
Your Impact Made Real
To gear up for Giving Tuesday on December 3, members of the APS staff traveled to two school districts local to Bellefonte to share stamp collecting with students through the StampsTeach program.
At Friends School in State College, APS visited two elementary school classrooms and two middle school classrooms, with more than 70 participating students. Later that day at Centre Hall-Potter Elementary, APS visited two fourth-grade classrooms with nearly 40 students.
By the end of each visit, every student could answer the questions: What are postage stamps anyway, and what can you learn with them?
Dr. Cathy Brachbill, Director of Education, shared fun facts about postage stamps and their invention with the kids, and answered their questions about sending mail and the post office. She also brought a large example of a postage stamp, which students used to identify the important elements of a postage stamp, including the design, denomination, and country of issue.
Cathy and Kathleen Edwards, Youth Coordinator, also shared images of stamps that inspire us to learn more about famous explorers and leaders, space, botany, geography, and the United States’ history. Kids participated in a group activity where they found stamps depicting topics that they enjoy or would like to learn more about, stamps from different countries, and stamps with a person, place, or thing. The APS team also presented each teacher with a StampsTeach package. With the materials in the StampsTeach package, teachers have resources to continue using stamps as teaching aids in their classrooms.
Shelley Feltenberger (Centre Hall-Potter Elementary) shared with her students how proud she was of their behavior while looking through the piles of stamps:
“You weren’t just thinking of stamps that you liked. You were thinking of each other, and how a stamp might be a good fit for your classmates. That shows how well you know each other and how thoughtful you are of each other’s interests.”
She also told us how she’s using stamps in her classroom since our visit: “We just finished our read aloud book, Wildfire. The students are feverishly working on 4” x 6” index cards to create a POSTAGE STAMP that shows a moment from the book!”
We all know from experience how much you can learn from stamps. Thank you for helping us share that joy with teachers and students across the country through StampsTeach.
You can continue to support StampsTeach at aps.buzz/Donate. To learn more about StampsTeach, visit aps.buzz/StampsTeach. If you have an experience with using stamps as instructional artifacts to share with us, we would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “My StampsTeach Story.”
APS Development Assistant Erin worked with the Education Department to put together StampsTeach packages from your generous donations. These were sent out in early January.