The following are excerpts from letters written to Dave Hess and Matt Nelson by several of the Glen Avenue Summer School '96 students who truly enjoyed their e-mail exchanges with the men as they partici[ated in the KIDLINK project, "Antarctic Adventure."
In December Dave and Matt visited Delmar Elementary School. Matt visited on December 12th and with the help of Mrs. Chris Kelley from Glen Avenue School and Ms. Sandy Titus from the Board of Education we were able to bring the boys from their own homeschools to Delmar to meet Matt. Jarrell and Paul attend North Salisbury School; Keith goes to Glen Avenue School; Kevin is a student at Prince Street School and Michael is in a special program at Pemberton School. It was a touching moment for all when Matt met the kids.
Matt brought the boys patches from Antarctica and pictures of penguins that he had taken with his camera. The students did not let Matt leave without autographing their pictures.
July 24, 1996
Dear Mr. Matt and Mr. Dave,
I really like when you write to me. I wish I could write to you all of the time. Thursday July 25, 1996 is our last day of school. Hope I hear from you soon. I did not like summer school until I wrote to you men. I always wake up in the morning looking foreword to writing to you men. I would like to see you. If you are in Salisbury could you stop by North Salisbury School and ask for Jarrell Chandler. Well this is my last day writing to you. If I hear from you two I will be so happy. The feeling of not touching these keys again makes me sad. If I could give you something I would for writing back to me. Thank you for all of your letters. You did not have to write to me but you did. I just can't stop saying thank you. Well bye!
Dear Mr. Matt and Mr.Dave,
...We only have one more day of school left. I wish I could keep on writing to you all the time.
Mr. Matt. I like the way you signed my letter. It was funny. I wish you could keep on writing letters like that. Have you ever been to a baseball stadium or a race car place? I have been to a lot of states but I have never been to Antarctica.
I also used to have all kinds of dogs but some died and some my grandparents gave away but I still have dogs. They are twins. My dad lives in Washington D.C. He is a police officer.
It looks like I'll be writing to you. I am so happy. This morning I walked in the classroom and ask the teacher did I get a reply from you. So how are you doing. I hope fine. Do you know this is the funniest thing I did. It make me feel happy. I wish you were down here so that I can talk to you. I am saving all your letters. If I never came to summer school I would not be talking to you today. But I do want to do good in school. This keeps me occupied. I like talk to you. My hand feel good touching these keys again.
How are you men doing? It was nice hearing from you. Do you know that summer school is almost over? It ends this week. This might be my last day writing to you guys. What kinds of games do you play? I like the way you signed your name on everybody's letter, Mr. Matt. I hope this is not my last time hearing from you. Have a nice day. bye
...I hope you like this letter. I am putting as much heart in this letter. I hope you write back.
My last day of summer school is tomorrow. I hope you write back tomorrow. Mr. Matt you are not crazy. My favorite football player is Jerry Rice. Thank you for sending us the picture of the chapel. You're nice. I live on XXX Street. If you want to call me, my number is XXXXXXXX. I hope you call me. Mr Dave can you visit me so I can meet you face to face. What part of Texas do you live in, Mr. Matt ? I like the way you signed my letter it said Crazy Matt. What is a Ham Radio? Do they have schools in Antarctica?
Michael stands for M*I*K*E
I loved to read your letters. I hope you will have a safe trip home. I will be getting a computer to talk to you all the time. Then I will send a picture of my dog Kelly. She is part dachshund, German Shepherd, and part beagle. My house is a two story house. My friends don't believe me but I have an elevator in my house. What year did you arrive? I like how you signed your letter.
Your Best Friend,