Return to Headlines

Letter Project Beginning March 30

 

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is,

‘What are you doing for others?'”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

Assignment Description:

Beginning March 30th and ending April 10th, we will begin a two-week assignment to replace final exams this year. That is correct! Due to the many changes caused by COVID-19, we will not be issuing final exams this year. 

Instead, we will engage in a project for the next two weeks -- and then begin covering our class topics either back on campus or remotely. We typically spend two weeks on our exam period: a week preparing for final exams and a week taking final exams, so this project equates to the perfect substitute.

The assignment is simple; yet, we are challenging students to be creative, look more deeply into our current situation, and use it to springboard towards an understanding of themselves and others. Each student has to choose an individual or a group that he cares about. This individual or group cannot attend St. Thomas More and must not be someone our students will see in the next two weeks. Instead, it should be someone who they think is also suffering from the isolation COVID-19 has caused.

Every weekday, beginning Monday, March 30th until Friday, April 3rd, and then again the following week beginning Monday, April 6th until Friday, April 10th, each student must write and email a letter to the person or group of his choice.  They must bcc or forward it to their advisors on a daily basis.  The letter aims to provide hope, share some kindness, and lift the emotional well-being of both the student and his audience. The letter must be a minimum of 250 words for grades 8-10 and a minimum of 350 words for grade 11-post-graduate.  It must be well-written, proofread, grammatically correct, and include one “extra item” per day. 

 

This “extra item” may be a video the student created from that day, a photo/photos from the day, a sketch, an article, a funny meme they saw (must be appropriate and limited to once per week), song lyrics, something interesting on social media, a poem or other literature -- anything extra to lighten the mood of the letter. This item’s significance must be discussed in the letter, spelling out the good that comes from sharing it. The explanation of the item may be part of the total wordcount but the item itself may not (i.e. do not email someone song lyrics that total 350 words and claim that is your letter). 

The purpose of this project is to continue provoking thought, improving our students’ writing, and helping them cope with the mental and emotional challenges of their current isolation -- by communicating with others who may be experiencing similar frustrations. We are excited that this may not only be a wonderful learning tool, but also something that our students can look back on to remember how they overcame these difficult times. We are optimistic and hopeful that our students will be providing hope, encouragement, and support to someone who needs it right now.

 

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”

-Michelle Obama

 

 

Assignment Objective:

 

Students, by engaging in this assignment with the goal of helping others then your courage can also be contagious…


 

Assignment Parameters;

  • Assignment will be graded as pass/fail, once you pass you will be exempt from your finals
  • Students must submit a total of 8 emails as outlined by the schedule below, each student gets one excused late email.
  • Your advisor will approve all 8 emails you send, once you have received 8 approvals from your advisor you have passed the assignment.
  • Each student gets one warning from their advisor, the warning will be to notify the student that they are approving the email but they need to do a better job moving forward or the next email will not be approved.
  • The extra day built in for students as a make-up day for anything that goes wrong.

 

Assignment Schedule:

All times will be based on Eastern Standard Time, for international students it’s the same time zone as New York City:

 

  • By 11pm Monday, March 30: Email to your advisor the individual or group you have decided to write your letter to. Your advisor will send you an approval by 12:00pm Tuesday.

 

  • By 11pm Tuesday, March 31:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • This means that each day you must send your advisor one email with two attachments plus the extra item explained in the above summary.

 

  • By 11pm Wednesday, April 1:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as the day before!

 

  • By 11pm Thursday, April 2:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as any of the previous letters!

 

  • By 11pm Friday, April 3:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as any of the previous letters!

 

  • By 11pm Monday, April 6:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as any of the previous letters!

 

  • By 11pm Tuesday, April 7:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as any of the previous letters!

 

  • By 11pm Wednesday, April 8:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as any of the previous letters!

 

  • By 11pm Thursday, April 9:
  • Forward the email you sent to your individual/group to your advisor.
  • Attach one copy of a rough draft to demonstrate that you made corrections and edited your work.
  • Make sure you include the “extra item”.
  • Remember the letter may not be the same letter as any of the previous letters!

 

  • By 11pm Friday, April 10:
  • If you have submitted all eight letters on time and received your advisors approval, great job!
  • We hope you enjoyed the assignment!

If not this is your make-up day, get it done using the requirements