Chaires Elementary art class sparks coast-to-coast postcard exchange

A Leon County classroom is churning out colorful postcards and sending them across the country.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 4:48 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Inside the art classroom at Chaires Elementary in Leon County, students have been busting out crayons and getting busy crafting colorful postcards.

Their creations are shipped all across the country.

Art Teacher Colleen Nottingham said she came up with the idea after visiting a conference in Orlando. There, she heard of an exchange between students and sailors.

“I kind of wanted to have it be student to student rather than student to adult,” she said.

She knew exactly where to take the idea: “there’s a secret society on Facebook of art teachers.”

Within minutes, teachers from all across the country started to reply. Three weeks in, she’s lined up connections with 27 different states.

The students draw Florida-inspired imagery on one side. On the other, they write a question they want to be answered by a student in another state.

Fourth-grader Emma Prine said she loved getting the chance to research other states.

“We get to interact with other kids who are from all over the world,” she said.

All grades, K-5, are getting involved.

“They really want to connect with another student. Once I tell them someone is really going to read it, they get really excited about it,” Nottingham said.

A group of fourth and fifth-grade students worked Monday morning to craft cards for a class in Augusta, Maine. Later that day, Nottingham received the first batch from Long Island, NY.

“When they see that envelope, and they know- they’re going to be really excited to see what their answers are,” she said.

Nottingham is hoping to get connections in all 50 states and hopes this story helps seal the deal.

If you know an art teacher, or any other educator, who lives in one of those states, help make a connection by emailing her at

Here are the states she has not yet heard from:

MissouriMontanaNebraskaNew Hampshire
New MexicoNorth DakotaOklahomaOregon
Rhode IslandSouth DakotaUtahVermont
West Virginia