School's stamp club holds show

May 08, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

Paul Kolva's fourth-grade classroom at Montgomery Township Elementary School near Mercersburg bustled with activity Friday morning.

Students greeted visitors in the hallway, while other students gave tours of the classroom to groups of students and adults.

With a theme of extreme sports, the attraction was the school's 24th annual Stamp Show. The room was decorated with stamp posters and the students' stamp projects.

Kolva, who has been adviser to the club since its inception, sat under a hanging display of 29-cent hummingbird stamps.

For 50 cents, visitors could purchase an envelope with a cachet, or design, that Stamp Club members had created.

An employee of the Mercersburg Post Office issued cancellations on the envelopes.

Fourth-grader Joshua Burnworth, 11, and other students guided groups around the exhibit, pointing out student stamp projects with such themes as cats, reptiles and amphibians, American flags, sports, presidents, flowers, Army stamps and old stamps.


Kolva said he wants to expose the students to "a hobby you can do for a lifetime."

"I want the kids to see different possibilities with stamp collecting," he said.

Many of the stamps, some from as far back as 1932, were borrowed from Kolva's extensive stamp collection.

The resident of Chambersburg, Pa., said he uses the stamps as teaching tools for Pennsylvania history lessons. One large notebook of stamps begins with Indian-themed stamps and continues through William Penn and other historic figures.

"He's a stamp genius," Burnworth said of Kolva.

At a nearby table, two fourth-graders autographed the cacheted envelopes.

Matthew Pierce, 10, designed the cachet, with three panels depicting extreme sports. He said that the class had decided on the X Games as the theme for the stamp show.

"I like to draw and they needed someone to draw the cachet, so I thought I'd try it," he said.

Kaitlyn Cole, 10, secretary of the Stamp Club, drew the cancellation, a skateboard. A stamp collector, Kaitlyn did her project on plant stamps, and received a first-place ribbon.

Each participant and visitor received a packet of stamps.

Outside, in keeping with the theme of the X Games, students rode bicycles through an obstacle course made of straw bales and orange traffic cones.

Kolva said that next year, when the club will celebrate its 25th anniversary, he would like to have a two-day show.

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