Please Help These Iowa Students Get 1.5 Million Postcards

letters from AnneAs many of you know I returned to my home state of Iowa a couple of years ago. I love my home state, there are a lot of great things happening here, and I try to support as many as I can. I grew about less than half an hour from Danville, so I’m happy to share this project.  Please consider sending a postcard and let them know you’re a librarian (or not) and where you work and live!

From the flyer

Anne Frank’s Iowa Connection – Few know it but the most famous face in the Holocaust had a pen pal in Danville, Iowa named Juanita Wagner. Anne sent a letter and a postcard from her vast collection to young Juanita. This has inspired the students of Danville schools to launch a postcard campaign. Their goal is to collect 1.5 million postcards in remembrance of the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust.

It’s a great project for classrooms across America to experience. They also hope to get postcards from abroad. Please tell another teacher about this amazing project today and help the kids in Danville reach their goal!

In 1940 Anne searched a map of Iowa and wrote she had a hard time finding Danville but she did find Burlington. Two teenage girls from Burlington wrote and illustrated a children’s book about Anne’s Iowa connection in 2012. Oceans Apart is published in the A BOOK by ME series. Book titles by area young authors are available at www.abookbyme.com.

Send postcards to:
Danville Schools
419 S Main Street
Danville, Iowa – 52623


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3 comments for “Please Help These Iowa Students Get 1.5 Million Postcards

  1. October 18, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I happened to read this post while on vacation in Greece. I had just spent the day touring the Acropolis – the kind of day that made me feel grateful to be alive! I’m an Iowa-born librarian and am excited to contribute three postcards to your project.

    I didn’t know about this Iowa connection to Anne Frank. I will share your post with expats around the world who may be able to contribute postcards from where they live. Thank you for helping these children be successful in their very interesting project. I also didn’t know that 1.5 million children had perished.

    • October 18, 2013 at 7:26 am

      Thank you so much Karen!

      Wonderful blog btw I’m jealous of your travels!

  2. Mary Jo
    October 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I think the idea of trying to commemorate all of those lives lost with a postcard for each is admirable, but I have to wonder if anyone has done the math for this project, and what will become of all those postcards.

    The minimum size for a post card is 3.5″ X 5″ X .007″. Most are thicker than that (max allowed by USPS is .016″ thick before extra postage applies). To shelve 1.5 million postcards (as if they were leaves in a book), allowing no space between them and no allowance for stamp thickness, will take between 292 and 667 typical library shelves (36″). If you wanted to display the cards, it would minimally take 32 rooms of wall space (12′ X12′ rooms with a 10 foot stud, covered floor to ceiling).

    If you spent one second looking at each of them, 8 hours per day, it would take you 52 days to see them all (no pausing, not reading the notes). Think of the person who gets the mail each day – at just one second each, he or she will spend 417 hours just handling the cards, and more than one person is going to handle these cards, and probably for more than one second each.

    If successful this project will be very expensive time-wise as well as storage-wise.
    Minimally (smallest possible cards and no air space between them, no allowance for postage stamps), you have 243 cubic feet of paper.

    This all assumes a good response. If they get 50 postcards a day, 6 days a week, it will take 10 years to reach 1.5 million.

    (Once my fourth grade class set a goal of seeing what a million of something would look like. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we could afford to collect and how much space it would take. We settled on 1″ square pieces of paper (cut from used paper). It took us all school year and it filled about 2/3 of a refrigerator box.)

    I hope they can find a way of modifying this project to something that is more doable.

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