Pine Valley School Project Goes Viral

Andrea Garrison and her kindergarten students pose in front of their card wall, where there are holiday cards from all 50 states.

SOUTH DAYTON — Facebook is a place where friends and family can share their lives and special events. Who would have guessed that someone from a small town would go viral worldwide? Well, that’s exactly what happened to Andrea Garrison and her kindergarten class at Pine Valley Elementary School.

Garrison wanted to find a way to teach her students about the area and world they live in. She thought of a creative way to teach her students about the world they live in while at the same time keeping their interest.

The kindergarten teacher ended up posting a status on Facebook asking for holiday cards from around the country, as her goal was to get a card from every state. Her post ended going viral, spreading around all of the United States and even around the globe.

In the first three days of receiving cards from people, they ended up with over 200 of them. Currently, they have 373 cards from all 50 states, seven different countries, and two U.S. territories.

The cards had all types of different things on them. For example, some had sandmen — the deserts version of snowmen. Others had drawings of cacti on them, and a few even had other languages on them. They received a card from Germany that had a message in German written on one side, then they wrote the English translation on the other side.

The center of the wall of cards, where you can see the strings leading to each card from every state. Submitted photos

“This was a wonderful opportunity to teach my students lots of different subjects, including math, geography, learning fun facts about each state, and weather,” said Garrison, kindergarten teacher.

Kelly Zimmerman, principal of Pine Valley Elementary School also chimed in on the subject. Zimmerman and Garrison agreed that this project has shined a light on something more serious. They said that teaching the class how quickly things can spread on the Internet is important, especially in this day and age.

“I asked my students ‘What if somebody posted a picture of you doing something bad, like picking your nose, on social media? Think about how many people could end up seeing it.”

Zimmerman seems to be very proud of her students and teacher because of this project. Apparently, people are not even just sending in cards, they are sending stickers, hand-painted ornaments and other little goodies for the children.

“This activity shows the kids and the community that even a kindergarten class from a very small town can have an effect on the world,” said Zimmerman.


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