Ben Franklin Stamp Clubs
I spent my entire postal career in the Kingman, Az 86401 office. One of my most enjoyable jobs was being involved in the Ben Franklin Stamp Club program. It was fun going around to the different schools getting the school children excited about philately. A typical day in a classroom involved showing them a video about stamp collecting, and then asking the students if any of them were already collecting stamps. There were always without exception young stamp collectors and they enjoyed talking about their collections and what they enjoyed collecting the most. I would then explain that all stamps "tell a story," and then tell them some postal history---usually about the Pony Express as that was the most popular subject, but would also discuss how Christmas stamps and Love stamps began and even about Mr Zip! I would also discuss with them how to address an envelope and methods of beginning their own collections. The postal service always had a lot of material to hand out---like coloring books and small stamp guide books that detailed the finer points of collecting. I always carried a large container of stamps and would let each child pick a stamp they liked out of the piles. After everyone had their favorite stamp I would ask a few of them to explain why they chose that particular stamp and what it meant to them. To close, I would pass out stamp designs to color or blank stamp outlines for the students to design their own stamps depending on the age of the students. The teacher would then drop off their work to me where we held a contest for the best designs and stamp coloring contests. The winners would get prizes, but everyone really was a winner because everyone of their designs or stamp coloring contest entries were proudly displayed in our postal lobby. All the kids loved coming into our postal lobby and see their own artwork on display! And the customers loved it too! It seemed like every kid in town knew my name and who I was no matter where they saw me---in or out of uniform, and it was hands down the most memorable part of my postal career. I was sad when the ben Franklin Stamp Clubs program was eventually discontinued.
AUTHOR NAME: Robin Hulvey
AUTHOR CITY, STATE: Kingman, Arizona