RE: Help please/possible HOAX - Oh for heaven's sake!

From:Jacqueline Kitchen <>

Thank you for posting the hoax and urban legends web site and including the clip from that site.  As I understand it, this info is saying these emails are not a hoax, but a real school project.  As the mother of a second grade boy, I am excited that schools are attempting to educate children about the power and use of the internet and email and I look forward to discussing the finding with my son.
  The email address here is to yahoo.  The school planned ahead to avoid an overload of emails to the school email system and set up an account with yahoo.  Yahool seems to be handling the enormous number of emails just fine.  Your concern about having the mail server crash and thus not receiving your emails should be directed to yahoo.

If I see the copy of the Weekly Reader containing this article, I will share it with you


Jacqueline Kitchen
Breast Cancer Research Lab
University of Kansas Medical Center

>>> <> 02/14/01 06:38AM >>>
I have been castigated for my comment:

"And if it isn't a hoax it's a disgrace."

Sorry to labour the point, but some of you guys just don't get it at all.
From 2 years ago in "Urban legends" (to indicate how long this sort of nonsense has been occuring).

If you couldn't get your e-mail 'cos your server was clogged up with this rubbish, would you be pleased?

Dateline: 10/20/99 
It may not be the savviest approach to teaching grade school geography, but it's new and it's high-tech, and it certainly makes an impression on kids. 

What approach is that?  Launching an email chain letter and collecting responses as the message circles the globe. 

What's so impressive about it?  How quickly it gets out of control. 

We saw two examples earlier this year when 4th graders at Sieden Prairie School in Illinois and 5th graders at Mill Cove District School near Halifax, Nova Scotia were literally overwhelmed by the volume of replies they received to the chain letters they sent out. 

The Sieden Prairie students logged over 20,000 messages in two months. During the final week of the project they were receiving a thousand a day. Mill Cove's email address had to be shut down completely just 9 days into its project because replies were coming in at the rate of 150 an hour. The students received 18,000 messages, all told. 

So much for the plan of sticking a pin in the map for every person who writes back. 

Well, a new school year is underway and I'm here to report that so is a new round of email geography projects. Could this be the wave of the future? Let's hope not. 

Mr. Hershberger's 7th grade Social Studies class at Scott Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska sent the following message out on August 30: 

We are in grade 7 at Scott Middle School, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. We are doing an email map project. We want to chart all the places in the world our email will travel by the Internet. Our project starts August 30th, and ends October 29th. If you receive this message, we ask that you: 
1}Email back and tell us your location so we can plot it on our world map 


2}Send this note on to more people. 

Please reply to the following address. 

Thank you for your support. 
Mr. Hershberger 
Social Studies 
Scott Middle School 
2200 Pine Lake RD 
Lincoln ,NE 68512 

The project is far from over, but according to a school district newsletter the class had already received 22,000 replies as of the end of September. Please note: with 28 students in the class, that works out to 785 emails per student. Poll  
     Are chain letters a good way to teach?

 Yes, it's innovative and does no harm 
 No, it's an abuse of Internet resources 
 Don't really care 

Current Results 
If you're assuming that number will have doubled by the end of October, think again. Because the circulation of chain letters grows geometrically over time, the final count is likely to be triple or quadruple the first month's total. 

Those are going to be some very busy middle school students. 

On the upside, they've gotten friendly messages from as far away as Bosnia and Antarctica. They've even received photos and postcards by snail mail from well-wishers around the world. But what's the real point students will take away from all this? One 7th grader, when asked what he had learned so far, said this: "Email travels fast." 

Do tell.  Mr. Blevins' 5th grade class at Bill Arp Elementary in Douglasville, Georgia learned the very same lesson. Their version of the email (see below) went out on September 21. It garnered over 27,000 responses during the first 2 weeks of its existence. Then Yahoo terminated their email account. 

Terry L Marshall
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire


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