For thousands of years education has been driven by teachers who focus on helping students know their roots and form life goals, developing the tools they must have to achieve those goals.
The School Time Capsule Project has created a structure to expand the focus on roots and goals throughout the 14 years leading to graduation.
Every year, from pre-k through high school graduation, each parent is invited to write a letter to their child about their dreams for their child. First by the school, then in third-grade students begin the process of writing an annual letter to each parent asking for a letter back about their dreams for them, and asking that a story from their family history be included.
As the years pass these letters from the students will naturally change, and be sent to more family members, especially those who are older and know more of the family history. Grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other relatives can be written to as the student expands their awareness of family history.
Each time a student receives a letter from a parent or other relative they are encouraged to immediately read it so they can ask that relative about any details in the letter they may not fully understand. Such conversations could evolve quickly into those goal-centered/family history discussions that we all want to be more common in all families.
The letters from parents and relatives, or anyone the child is close to, are collected by each student to be brought to school on an assigned day for the second letter-writing exercise.
In that class, the first assignment is to prepare a self-addressed envelope to hold all of the letters. Then each student writes a letter to themselves about their life and their own goals. As this is done the teacher checks all of the envelopes to be certain they are addressed correctly so they always find their way back to the student. The letters are all placed inside the envelope, sealed, and placed into the School Time Capsule.
Each year the letters are returned before the next letter writing exercise.