These are the type of local stories that warm my heart on a cold winter's day.

I read a letter from a 2nd-grade Hampden teacher that made me smile and once again reminded me that teachers are selfless heroes of our community.

The letter was from Mrs. Bouchard, a Hampden teacher at Earl C. McGraw School, and her 2nd grade class. They are participating in “Hearts Around the US” this year.

The goal in participating is to receive a Valentine or a postcard from all 50 states. They will keep track of each state that sends a Valentine or postcard by adding a heart to a United States map that Mrs. Bouchard hung up in their classroom.

What a creative and exciting way to learn the states and geography! This classroom's excitement must be through the roof when the mail arrives with a letter.

How can you help? Well, for Mrs. Bouchard's 2nd-grade classroom's "Heart Around the US" to be successful, they need you to spread the word to a friend or family member living outside of Maine and have them send a Valentine or postcard to:

Earl C. McGraw School
Attn: Mrs. Bouchard's 2nd Grade Class
20 Main Road North
Hampden, Maine 04444


Please don't hesitate to send your Valentine or postcard because they would like to have all arrive before February 14.

I have seen this done at other schools before and it is always so fun to hear how many cards were received and how the kids were learning in a unique way.

Fifty Valentines from 50 states is doable and I hope this helps them get to their goal.

LOOK: 35 Vintage Cereals That Perfectly Captured Pop Culture Moments

Movies and TV shows have always found ways to partner with cereal companies as part of their promotion strategy. While some may have come up with a giveaway in boxes, others went big by having their own cereal connected to the movie or TV show title. Here are vintage cereals that were used to promote some of pop culture's biggest moments (and some you probably forgot about).

Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll

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