Frances Applegate, Hays, KS

Dear Good People,

I am sending some of the letters that I received as a thank you from the 4th graders at Washington Elementary in Hays – to whom I give dictionaries. The school principals here decided the books would work best with the higher grade when I started 10 years ago.

I think these letters were some of the best I have received through the years. They seemed individually composed rather than a class project.

The jokes, to which they refer, I tell not to be funny but to make the kids think and enjoy language. For instance one that I ask is, “What did the loaf of bread tell the doctor?” Answer: “I feel crummy!”

The page I read to them lists many of the uses of the word “UP” since definitions to this single two letter word occupy some fifty (yes, 50) 8.5″x11″ pages in the Oxford English Dictionary! When I end reading the page after using “UP” 65 times I tell them I am going to shut “UP” and that always engenders lots of laughs and enthusiasm.

Sincerely,

Francis Applegate