The letter began: “Dear people of the great state of New Jersey.” A fourth-grade student from “Mrs. Smith’s Class” at the Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, NC reached out to readers of the New Jersey Herald seeking information about New Jersey for a school project. As Stephen Young stated in his letter, “…the best information comes from the people who live in and love their state…I was hoping that you would be willing to send me some small items to help me learn more about the best things in your state.”
Young Mr. Young’s letter struck a chord with Janet Lucas, an attorney with Laddey Clark & Ryan, a believer in lifelong learning. As she said in a letter back to the student, “Like you, I did a project about another state when in fourth grade, so I want to help you if I can.” Among the items Ms. Lucas sent with her letter were a copy of Vision Magazine, which was published by the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Herald, a copy of the New Jersey state constitution and a photo of a New Jersey courtroom.
Young responded with a handwritten letter of thanks and told Ms. Lucas that he created a trifold poster, using the information she had provided, for a big “state fair” in which the students shared information about the states they were studying. Said Lucas in her letter to the fourth grader, “I wish you all the best in learning as much as you can while you’re in school so that you grow to appreciate that life is a process of learning that never ends.”