Big Scissors, Little Cat

Gulliver is eagerly awaiting International Post Day, October 9, 2013.  He has been trying his paw at making his own postcard, cutting card stock in halves and quarters and gluing old map sections to the card stock.  To celebrate this day, the classrooms who have been receiving cards will be making their own postcards describing their community and what they like to do. Those cards are then put in a large envelope and mailed to another classroom.  The classrooms will receive an envelope in return, though not necessarily the same number of cards sent, depending on class sizes. At this time, there are no international classrooms set up to swap with. Maybe next year.

The cards may vary from hand drawn to photographs to stickers, map sections and collages of pictures from local magazines.   The most important part is not the picture, but what is written by the student. This is an exercise in creative thinking, evaluating his/her surroundings and communicating in complete sentences.  Cats are always aware of their surroundings, now it is time to take a page from their “book of life” and stretch your horizons.

As a side note, here is an excellent short history on the origin of the postcard:     gulliver with scissors





 Ms. Ownby’s classroom is rejoining the project, and Gulliver is hoping that the teacher from Las Vegas who inquired about the project will be joining. Lots of requests were individually given out to both teachers and parents over the summer, they may be bearing fruit over the next month.  Please note that the postcards included in the posts may or may not have already been sent out, and we cannot promise anyone a specific card. They are shown for variety and to spice up the posts.



  3040 niagra falls

Fun with envelopes


When I send two or more postcards to someone, I need an envelope the size of a large greeting card.  I received cards from a Postcrosser in the envelope above, and was entranced with the creativity. In this case she had taped the different pieces of paper over the white envelope, including the front (not shown – too much personal info on it).  I was in a store which had old calendars for sale at ridiculous low prices and the light bulb went off in my head. So here is what I came up with.

bird envelope bird envelope back0001lavender envelope frlavender envelope

The front covers are much heavier, so I will have to weigh each envelope to make sure there is enough postage.  I have sent out about 4 envelopes so far, and none have been returned (checked with the letter carrier, who thought they were fine). and I haven’t had any comments from the recipients. Hope they make it ok. I love the extra bit of sparkle in the mail.

Salinas Californian Article on Cards4Kids classroom exchange 2013

postcards sandi mccafferty

Schoolkids share glimpses of Salinas with peers in Texas

May 3, 2013 3:06 AM   |

Salinas Californian

 Written by  Roberto M. Robledo

To get involved: To donate postcards or participate in the student postcard exchange, contact Inez Don Carlos at

No tweets. No texts. No Facebook. No YouTube.

Just old-school messages in pen or pencil, on postcards.

In the digital age, it’s very possible many kids have never sent a postcard to anyone. After all, postcards are so 30 years ago.

But, last year, postcard collector Inez Don Carlos had an epiphany and decided to contribute to the literacy rate.

The Salinas resident and assistant manager of the California Welcome Center at 1213 N. Davis Road, distributed more than 100 postcards to classrooms in Salinas, Watsonville, Oregon and Texas “to help educate the children about the greater world around them.”

She included factoids about place names, history, geography and science.  Now she hopes to launch a more organized exchange of postcards between classrooms near and far. She wants school kids to share their views about their city and learn about someone else’s.

Dear Post Card pen pal,

… In Salinas the crops are amazing! They are good for salads, salsa and sandwiches. All of these contain tomatoes. They grow in Salinas.

Sincerely, Veronica.

Don Carlos has enlisted six local classrooms in Salinas and Watsonville to write postcards to their peers in Austin, Texas. Fourth-graders at New Republic School in the Santa Rita Union, Natividad School in Salinas City and Steinbeck School in Alisal Union school districts are participating.

Thanks to the Salinas Woman’s Club, which paid for the stamps, and Don Carlos’ postcard donations, the exchange is free.

Sandi McCafferty’s fourth-grade class at New Republic is taking part. McCafferty took photos of various still life and marine life and had her pupils make their own postcards to share.

“Reaching out to other classes through National Postcard Week (May 5-11) is a way to show off Salinas, connect our students with those from another area, find common ground and share their lives,” Don Carlos said.


We live in Salinas. Have you ever been to a Rodeo? I have. They’re fun. I also like it because you get to see cool animals like bulls, cows and horses. If you’ve ever been to a Rodeo I know you will like it.

Your friend,


Don Carlos said the effort is not a pen-pal project but more of an exchange of “This is where I live” from a child’s perspective. “Most of us are geographically challenged,” she said.

And getting fourth-graders away from texting and into writing in complete sentences can’t hurt.

By next week Don Carlos will have collected 250 postcards, bundled them and mailed them in bulk to Austin, Texas. There, pupils at Anderson Mill Elementary School will get them and see a snapshot of Salinas.

The exchange is sort of a pilot project. Don Carlos said she hopes more local schools find out about it and join in. She envisions a monthly exchange of postcards between schools. Her project, Sandy Martin’s Cards4Kids, is named in memory of a longtime Salinas elementary school teacher.  Don Carlos said she hopes that one day her project lives up to its mission to facilitate “the exchange of information, education, values and customs between children and classrooms throughout the world.”

Dear Postcard pal,

This is a picture of an oak tree and some lupines on a highway called 68 in Salinas. The hills over Salinas have lots of mountain lions, lizards and snakes. Salinas has lots of other things like farms and the Pacific Ocean.



Do you know about

hon kong wilcox

In addition to the postcards Gulliver sends, cards occasionally come from people the Grand Pooh-Bah has exchanged cards with through  This is a worldwide community of postcard enthusiasts who share their lives and cultures through postcards.

To participate, it is free to sign up, and you are given 5 random names of people you send cards to. You can view their profile for their interests and requests.  While you send out those five cards, a random person has received your name and will be sending a card to you.  So while you may send a card to Japan, you ma receive a card  from Croatia. Be careful, this can be addicting.

Then there are variations, which are described in different forums. The Pooh-Bah favors swaps, where a person looking for a postcard of the state map, Yosemite, surfing, or something else in Gulliver’s collection is invited to swap.  Addresses are exchanged, and the postcrosser receives a requested card, and sends his/her card to the classroom of Gulliver’s choice.  One postcrosser from a Scandinavian country wrote about a custom her school had for birthdays. Each child went to all the classrooms on their birthday and received a small item – a pencil, a sticker, a postcard.  The card she sent was from one of her birthdays, and it was over 40 years old!

If there are multiple cards requested, they are sent in an envelope, and requested unwritten in return – people tend to use the address space as well as the correspondence side, and it make it hard to forward to a classroom.  Never fear, Gulliver will apply his paws to the effort and write some wonderful facts about the card.

Friends, family and strangers also provide un-written cards, and the Pooh-Bah has found thrift stores to be an inexpensive way to stock up. Donations are always welcome if you have left-over cards from trips.



Welcome to old and new classrooms

scan4a liberty bell

Welcome to a new classroom – Mrs. Rosenthal’s third grade class.  They are incorporating postcards in their unit on friendship and writing friendly letters this month.  Their first card came from Hong Kong!  Ms. Biery is just starting in Texas, but has already planned to include the postcard project in her curriculum.  Ms. Billman helped with the exchange last year, and looks forward to receive cards for her class this year.  Mrs. Castillo’s class is also new to the project, and looking forward to traveling the world with Gulliver

Ms. Ownbey, Ms. McCafferty, Mrs. Wilcox and Mr. Crutchfield are rejoining the project this year.  “Last year was a lot of fun. “,  We’re enjoying our postcards. The kids ooh and ahhhh!”  Hi. Happy new school year! I hope there are plans for more postcard fun. I have gotten more people interested.”

Looking forward to more classrooms joining –