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Elementary school


July 11, 2017 by Garrett Mitchener

Dear Diego,

I finally got your letter and drawing! Sometimes it takes a long time for messages to get here from El Salvador. Thank you for writing.

You asked about schools that I attended. I’ll tell you about the first grade school I attended.
Students from all over the city went there. No one has to pay to go to grade school in the United States. The government pays for everything. We didn’t wear uniforms. Our colors were blue and yellow. Our mascot was Lizzy the Lizard. I started in kindergarten and learned to read and write. We had a small paper book about each letter of the alphabet. I stayed there for first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grades. In each grade, I learned how to read better, more math, social studies, health, and science. In fifth and sixth grades, we learned to play instruments in the band and orchestra. I started learning to play the flute. We also learned a little bit of Spanish.

The school is next to a big park. Most days, we went to the park after lunch for play time. We threw balls, climbed, and played on swings. There was an old fire truck we could climb on.

One room in the school was full of desktop computers. These were a model called Apple II. Back in the 1980s, desktop computers were not very powerful. These could run programs from big floppy disks. We had programs for math games, history games, drawing programs, and puzzles.

The school library is full of books. On one side were the fiction books, in order by the author’s name. I remember reading all of the books about the land of Oz by Baum, and a few novels about the adventures of a man who could talk to animals by Lofting. On the other side were the non-fiction books. There were books about puzzles, science, famous people, and history. I even read a book about how to do calculations with a slide rule. No one uses these any more because we have electronic calculators, but I still learned a lot from that book.

The school has an auditorium. We had classes on singing and playing musical instruments in the auditorium. The school has a gymnasium. We went there for dance classes and physical education.

I can tell you more if you like, but that’s enough for one letter!

— Garrett Mitchener


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