Elephant Mail Accepted Through March 11
What advice would you give to an elephant moving into a new home? The National Zoo's elephants are all ears.
It's not easy to move into a new home.
It's tough for everyone, and elephants—who are known for their ability to remember things—are no exception. The Smithsonian's National Zoo is asking children to help the zoo's elephants get adjusted to their new Elephant Community Center, which opens to the public on March 23.
The new elephant center will give the elephants "ample space for socializing, training and playing, and [will give] visitors the chance to get an up-close view of these incredible animals," according to a zoo statement.
The zoo and Washingtonian magazine invite elementary school-aged students in the Washington, DC, region to write letters to the elephants on one of the following topics and mail them to Washingtonian, according to a zoo statement:
1) Tell the elephants about a time when you had to move into a new house or classroom or to a new state—or write about another kind of change you have had to make—and describe how it went for you. What tips do you have for the elephants for their big move?
2) Tell the elephants why it is important to you that their friends in the wild be conserved. Write to them about what you are already doing or what you hope to do in the future to make a difference.
Beginning on March 4, Washingtonian will post a selection of the most thoughtful and creative letters on its website.
Then, on March 21, the Smithsonian will invite three letter-writers, one from each of three grade-level categories (kindergarten and first grade, second and third grades, and fourth, fifth and sixth grades), to the zoo in the morning.
Those students and their families (parents and siblings) will get a sneak peek at the new Elephant Community Center, and the students will read their letters to the elephants.
"The students selected to come to the Zoo will have demonstrated in their letters creativity, imagination and the writing skills they are learning in school. They also will have demonstrated an effort to research the Zoo’s three elephants and the Zoo’s work with elephants under human care and in the wild," according to the zoo statement.
Letters to the elephants should be postmarked and sent to Washingtonian no later than March 11.
When sending in a letter, use the cover sheet (attached to this post) and provide parental or guardian contact information so that the zoo will know whom to invite if a letter is chosen.
Send letters and cover sheets to:
1828 L St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036