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School for the Deaf students receive 1,300 postcards from around the world

Friday, March 01, 2024

SULPHUR –  Oklahoma School for the Deaf elementary students have received 1,300 postcards from as far as away as Jordan and New Zealand through a new postcard exchange project at their school.

The theme is Hearts Around the World.

Thirty-two students in the pre-school Baby Bison class through fourth grade are participating in the project.

“At first our students didn’t understand why they received a lot of postcards and letters.” said Pamela Fylstra, OSD elementary lead teacher. “They became excited to look at the postcards or cards to read the message, see where they came from and use the map to mark it down.” 

“It is a great project for OSD Elementary kids to learn geography about maps, states, countries and continents,” Fylstra said. “Maps not only help students navigate their way around the world, but they also help them locate where they are, what they have been doing and where they might go in the future.” 

OSD’s fourth grade class created data to figure out the percentages and fractions of the cards coming from states and countries as a part of math skills.  

Karen Ferrantelli with Elegant Fused Glass in Peyton, Colorado reached out to donate colorful glass hearts for OSD students and teachers when she saw their Facebook posts about Hearts Around the World. 

She lived in Oklahoma as a child and told Fylstra the state has a special place in her heart.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity for our students to see the outside of the world from their classroom”  OSD Superintendent Dr. Heather Laine said.  “I am proud of our students and their teachers.” 

“Our students never lost their excitement or gratitude for the senders,” said Savannah Hester, OSD fourth-grade teacher. “They loved each card and were great about wanting to read them all, so it took some time some days, but (was) worth it.”

Getting so many cards made fourth-grade student Arubree Hearell feel “Cherished.”

Kaiden Cunningham, a fourth-grader, said Hearts Around the World proved OSD students were “seen and important (because) people care.”

Oklahoma School for the Deaf offers free comprehensive academic, extracurricular and outreach programs to deaf or hard of hearing students who live on campus four days each week, commute from home, attend summer school or participate in online programs. The school offers preschool Baby Bison programs at regional sites in Edmond and Sulphur and partners with the state Department of Education on the early intervention Enriching Children’s Communication Opportunities program for parents of deaf children, ages three to six. OSD Students communicate using American Sign Language and English and participate in sports, drama, leadership programs and academic teams. A total of 452,934 participants participate in the school’s free online ASL training program in 2023. The school also provides free outreach services for deaf or hard or hearing students attending local public schools. These services include audiological, speech and language, and other assessments; in-service training programs; and recommendations for adaptations to the students' educational environments. OSD had a 100% graduation rate in 2022-2023.


Oklahoma School for Deaf fifth-grader Julliana Mosshart from Sulphur shows fused glass hearts donated by Karen Ferrantelli from Colorado for the students’ international postcard exchange project.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318