Letter writing is becoming an increasingly lost art in the age of text messages and Facebook posts, but recent Newsome High graduates have firsthand experience with the power of the printed word.
For the past five years, the school and its Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) have organized the Blue Letter Envelope program. The program allows friends and family members of Newsome High graduates to express their well wishes and congratulations through letters or cards.
“It’s not just the students’ families,” said Shawn Trotti, a member of the Newsome High PTSA and event chair for this year’s Blue Letter Envelope campaign. “It can be pastors or previous teachers; anyone who has been impactful in their lives can write.”
The letters for each student are collected, sorted and placed into a large blue envelope. The blue envelope containing all those good vibes is presented to each student the morning before graduation at their senior breakfast.
“The kids are always very moved,” Trotti said. “They understand the idea that someone actually took time to put what they were feeling into paper.
“They value the written word, even if they don’t use it as much.”
Trotti said the program was inspired by the nationwide Red Letter Envelope program. The color switch to blue was made last year to reflect Newsome’s palette. This will be the 10th graduating class in the school’s history, and it will include Trotti’s daughter, McKenzie.
“This is my fourth year doing Blue Letter, but it’s my first year chairing it,” Trotti said. “I really believe in the program and didn’t want it to lose any momentum.”
Newsome High’s graduating class is comprised of 525 students. Trotti’s goal is to make sure every student’s blue envelope is as full as possible. All letters must be received by May 10.
In order to ensure each student receives his or her letter, they need to be addressed in the following format:
Student’s Full Name
C/O Shawn Trotti
Newsome High School PTSA- Blue Letter Envelope
16550 Fishhawk Blvd.
Lithia, Fl 33547
Trotti is also interested in mentoring other schools who want to adopt the program.
For more information, visit www.newsomehighschoolptsa.org.