Brian Sandford: Elementary-schoolers curious about our state

Our newsroom receives some of its most interesting communications in the form of traditional letters. Granted, we get our share of junk mail, much of it addressed to editors and reporters who haven’t worked here in more than a decade. But we also get handwritten letters to the editor, clippings from other publications and interesting photographs.

In the past week, we’ve received two letters from students in other states looking to learn about Nevada’s capital as part of a school project. One letter came from Mikai, a fourth-grader in Miss Kazal’s class at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, N.J. The other came from Jonathan, a fifth-grader in Mrs. Newlin’s class at Harlan Intermediate School in Iowa.

Mikai’s letter reads, in part: “Our class is learning about the capitals of the United States. I would like to learn about what it is like to live in the city of Nevada proper. It would help me understand more about the capital of Nevada. Thank you for your help with my research.”

Jonathan’s reads, in part: “Right now, my S.S. class is studying the geography and history of the United States. I am so excited to learn about Nevada. I would really appreciate it if you would send me a souvenir, some pens, and any information on Nevada. My S.S. teacher Mrs. Newlin would like a car license plate if possible. I really appreciate your time.”

I called both schools to verify that the letters were legitimate. Miss Kazal told me her students had sent letters to the newspapers in many state capitals and were looking forward to receiving souvenirs.

I plan to send postcards and a copy of this column to both middle-schoolers, and I told Miss Kazal I’d invite our readers to send their own Nevada symbols. If you’re interested in teaching some inquisitive youths about our city and state, their schools’ addresses are below. Both teachers said they’d greatly appreciate it, and I am sure the students would, too.

Harlan Intermediate School: 1401 19th St., Harlan, IA 51537.

Rutgers Preparatory School: 1345 Easton Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873.

Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at


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