Sixth Graders' Balloon Letters Spark Donations

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When Elk Grove, Calif., elementary school teacher Dan Goldman employed creative means to boost his students' enthusiasm for writing, he got more than he bargained for.

Goldman thought his Elitha Donner Elementary sixth graders would better enjoy learning to write if they composed a message that would be launched in an air balloon.

"When they're done and completed we stick them in a Ziploc bag, and we connect them to a helium balloon and we let them go," he told his students.

Not only did his pupils love the class exercise, the creative assignment brought in some pricey donations for his cash-strapped classroom.

When Brandon Ferreria, a records specialist at Access Information Management, found the balloon with 11-year-old Aunjanae Cooper's letter on his office roof, his company donated much needed supplies and $1,000.00.      

"Aunjanae's letter touched our organization and sparked an immediate response from the Access Sacramento team," Access Executive Vice President David Gesinger said. "Given the limited resources that most schools have today, we reached out to see how we might be able to help."

"Now we don't have to ask parents for any more donations," a jubilant Goldman said.

The sixth-grade teacher says he is going to keep sending up balloons with his student's letters as often as he can.

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