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Acord    Students in Amanda Acord's kindergarten class at New Baden Elementary School were part of an Alphabet Exchange with other states, including another country.
    Last month, Acord's class participated in the exchange with 25 other kindergarten classrooms in 15 states — even receiving a letter from a military base in  Germany. 
    "To participate in the Alphabet Exchange, each class was assigned a letter of the alphabet," said Acord.
    This was the first time Acord has participated in the Alphabet Exchange. She saw a post in a Kindergarten Facebook group from a teacher who organizes the groups every year. 
    "She only needed eight more classes to participate, so I quickly messaged her and was assigned (the letter) 'W' right away," she said. 
    She said that the teacher who organizes the exchange had made a post earlier in the summer asking if any kindergarten teachers would be interested. 
    "So, the states/schools depend on who wants to be a part of the project," she said.

Acord 2    Every student in Acord's class was able to decorate their own capital and lowercase 'W,' and several students volunteered to make multiples as they needed 26 capital and lowercase letter to send out. 
    "They decorated the capital Ws as watermelons and used Wesclin's school colors (orange and black) to decorate the lowercase letter," she said.
    "Then we mailed 25 sets to the participating schools, keeping the 26th set for their alphabet. They also included a short note about their school, and where they live to the other schools."
    Acord's class looked forward to receiving new letters each day and enjoyed looking at the map to see where the letters came from. 
    "The most fun part of the project was receiving letters from the other schools and learning a little bit about their classroom," she said.
    After receiving the first couple of letters, the class quickly became very interested and would ask every morning if a new letter arrived. 
    "The Alphabet Exchange is a great project for Kindergarten students to learn not only their letters and letter sounds, but to also learn about our country," Acord said. "The students loved using the map to see where the letters came from and how far that location was from New Baden."