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Owney Begins His Journey in the South

1 Texas
Arrived 8/10/01 in El Paso on schedule
Owney made it as planned to El Paso, TX. It was hot and dry as normal (about 95 degrees.) This was our first time hosting Owney and it was so much fun for us! He arrived in the afternoon and all day long the kids kept asking when he would arrive. We worked on our postcards all morning (we are a 2nd grade class and this takes a while as you know.) When the moment arrived the students watched excitedly as the box was opened. We each took a turn signing Owney's guest book and taking a picture with him. We invited the parents for an "Owney Party" and had a fabulous time. Owney visited other classes, our Music and Computer teachers, our librarian, our Principal and Assistant Principal and even appeared on our morning announcements/news. We placed an "I love El Paso" button and our school pin. He was a real celebrity at our school. We only wish that we could have had him visit at the end of the year so we could see all his decorations! Our time with him was wonderful! We can't wait until next year when we will see him again. Pictures will be sent soon.
Helen Ball Elementary

2 Mississippi
Arrived 8/15/01 in Carriere right on time.
Hi Friends,
Owney arrived in Mississippi right on time. He arrived this afternoon(Aug.15). The kids were so excited! This is our 4th year to have Owney visit us. We took him to see the 6th graders that are in our hall. When these guys were in 2nd grade, Owney made his first trip to Mississippi.
They were the first group to see Owney at Pearl River Central Elem. We were trying to find something really neat to put on Owney. One of our teachers had the idea of making Owney his own ID card. So our technology man, Mr.Braque, made Owney his very own PRC ID card. We will send Owney off to Alabama tomorrow after school. The post cards will be sent out soon. I bought extras last year to use this year. When I moved to a new classroom this year, they got packed and I haven't found them yet. I will look for them tomorrow. One of the 6th grade classes is going to help us get them addressed. They will be mailed out soon.
Happy Trails, Owney!!!

3 Alabama
Due 8/20/01 in Trussville, arrived 8/27
We (Alabama) just received Owney at 2:30PM. So, we just had time enough to open the box. We have a day planned tomorrow totally devoted to Owney and our post cards. We will e-mail you tomorrow afternoon with an Owney celebration update. He (Owney) will be mailed out tomorrow afternoon (3:45PM). Thank you for continuing this wonderful project.

4 Georgia
Due 8/24/01 in Rossville, arrived 8/31
Owney arrived today, Friday, August 31, right before we were to be dismissed for the day. We won't be in school until Tuesday. We are out of school on Labor Day. I'll be sure to show Owney around on Tuesday and get him in the mail that afternoon. Sorry about the delay.

5 Florida
Due 8/29/01 in Tallahassee, arrived 9/11/01
Owney arrived Tuesday morning in Florida. We opened the box and shared the beautiful booklet from Texas, the signature book and a picture from a class that was not identified...... then we got the news that an American Airline's plane had hit the World Trades Building. As we watched we saw another plane hit the building. I watched the TV after the children left for PE and turned it off when they returned and I realized this was not just an incident of two airplanes losing their way through the skies over NY. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to turn their attention back to anything else in the room. One child began to cry because his father worked at a World Trade office. We contacted his mother who called her estranged husband. Fortunately, he had gotten out of the building. We all signed Owney's journal before the bell to dismiss us for the day.
Today we will write letters to the families of the victims and find comfort in Owney's presence. I'll take some pictures and, after some minor surgery, pack Owney back in his box. (Owney has a small hole in his back and I want to repair him before he is sent on to Tennessee.) He will be mailed this afternoon. After we've had a relatively normal day with Owney, we will repost and send the URL for Owney's web page.

6 Tennessee
Due 9/4/01 in Shelbyville, arrived 9/25/01
Owney arrived today! We were thrilled to visit with him. I sent him in the mail today to AR. I believe this year's group was thrilled more than any of the past years. This may have had to do with the tragedy in New York. I think the kids just wanted to be kids today. We had a blast with him! We wrote letters through Owney eyes, took pictures of the class and Owney (I'll put those up on the net as soon as I can), interviewed with the paper, wrote in our journals, and just enjoyed imagining what all the states will give him.

7 Arkansas
Due 9/10/01 in Hot Springs, arrived 9/28. Owney arrived on a Friday afternoon. We kept him until Tues. A.M. so he could spend the day with our fifth grade. He enjoyed a presentation from the local farm cooperative about cotton and then he was off to the post office for the next stop. Sorry I didn't get the e-mail out but our system was down and I was unable to send or receive mail.

Thanks again for letting us participate in the Owney project. It is a great experience for our kids and some of them have enjoyed Owney for four years now. They really look forward to his visit.

8 Louisiana
Due 9/14/01 in Luling, arrice 10/4
Owney has finally made it to La. We saw where Tennessee sent it to Arkansas since last Tuesday, so we have been waiting since last week. The students were so surprised when the principal and our Enrichment team sang "Who Let the Dogs OUT" over the intercom. Then they made a parade down the hall to our second grade wing.
We all had a chance to hold him all decorated in red white and blue and SO patriotic. We made a bead flag necklace for him to wear from our state of Louisiana. We had a party with him, he played with us outside, he watched us write about him and he came with us to the cafeteria. We wish we could keep him longer, but we know he has A LOT of states to visit and he is off of his original schedule. Thank you for sharing him with us. We will have the postcards out next week as I will not be in my room tomorrow.
Mrs. Delk from LA

9 Missouri
Due 9/19/01 in Cape Girardeau, arrived 10/9/01
Owney arrived at Blanchard Elementary School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri today!
Owney actually arrived in the mail after school on Tuesday, so he went home and watched the Cardinals lose to Arizona that evening. How sad! :( But he was excited to meet everyone at Blanchard Elementary School on Wednesday.
It was an incredibly busy day. We celebrated his arrival with sweet cornbread, as corn is a major crop in Missouri, and lemonade, because of our long, hot, sticky summers. Owney enjoyed his treats as much as we did. He took a trip down to meet our principal, Dr. Barbara Kohlfeld, and suddenly everyone in the office was interested in meeting him. Boy, he was one proud dog! Then Owney watched us as we took the OLSAT, a standardized test that all 2nd graders in the district are required to take. It took us all morning, but Owney kept encouraging us to do our best. After lunch we were invited to the Scholastic Book Fair visiting our school this week. Owney went with us and loved watching us pick out lots of good books. He was very excited to see the display of "Animal Kingdom" books and made a few new friends that were "hanging around" there too. (Check out our web page to see pictures of his visit.)
Then it was back to the room and we got busy with a performance assessment project to complete our habitat unit in science. We made posters that showed habitats of different animals. One of the habitats was for a dog, so Owney gave them some pointers from a dog's point of view. Then we had a fire drill - Owney was amazed to hear that loud bell! Then everyone got busy with reading and taking tests during DEAR Time (Drop Everything and Read). Owney was glad to see how the boys & girls took reading so seriously. Suddenly, everyone was gone and it was back in the box, off to South Carolina and more adventures. We were so proud to have Owney as our visitor for the day!

10 South Carolina
Due 9/24/01 in Charleston, arrived 10/16
Hi Everyone!
Owney made it to Charleston on Tuesday, October 16, 2001. We got him late in the afternoon. We shared him with other classes at our school on Wednesday and Thursday. They were very jealous. We were very excited! We read him a story and he visited with our principal Ms. Oplinger. We looked at all of the neat things he brought with him. After school Ms. Williams took Owney to Folly Beach. He found something very special there. We put it in his box. BE VERY CAREFUL when you open it or mail him to the next school, because it is fragile. We also included a postcard Owney liked.
Ms. Williams mailed him to North Carolina on Thursday afternoon. He should get there on Monday, October 22, 2001. We hope they enjoy him as much as we did. We will send a picture later. Thanks for letting us participate!

On to the next 10 states.

Back to the opening.