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#1007. "S" Letter Ideas

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Apr 20 13:00:30 PDT 1999 by Early Childhood Mailring ().

S letter ideas

Letter S

How about sorting socks by color and size, stringing cut up colored
straws for neckaces, playing with sand, sorting different types of
seashells, or decorating giant S's with silver glitter. Or, have them
make snakes from paper plates by coloring both sides of their plate and
spiral cutting around the plate. (I think I got this idea from someone
on the ring.)
Have fun!

-Bethany K/MS
Make Sand Jars. Take salt and colored sidewalk chalk. Rub
the salt with the chalk and put it is a baby food jar.
The children enjoy doing this activity.
Have fun.

From: bbillingsley@tcia.net
We just finished the letter S - some of our centers included: make a design
out of straws; cut different lengths of straws and put them in size order;
sort seeds; use 2 hoops and let the children make venn diagrams - things that
are soft/straight/smooth/square; individual slates and chalk to practice
letters and numbers; salt or sand trays for the same. Hope this helps.

How about SANDWICH, and they make their own
Color or paint an S shape. If colored, fingerpaint glue on it and sprinkle
with salt to make the S textured. If painted, just sprinkle the salt onto
wet paint.
Cindy/SPED K-2
for Letter S ~

Sock Sorting

"My goodness," said the Caterpillar,
"I am such a mixed up messer!"
I need help to sort my socks -
And put them neatly in my dresser.
Yellow socks, and orange socks,
And purple socks, and green.
Red, and blue, and pink ones, too.
And striped ones in between.
I've put them in the washer,
And I've put them in the dryer.
And now they're in a jumbled heap
That keeps on growing higher!"

"Don't worry," said the Katydid,
"I'll help you sort them out -
The reds with reds, the blues with blues,
That's what it's all about.
We'll sort them all until
each color's standing in its pile.
With you and I both sorting
We can do it with a smile!"

"Oh, thank you," said the Caterpillar.
"Come and have a seat.
Aren't you awfully glad that you
Don't have so many feet?"

-Sandra O. Liatsos

*activity sort and graph socks
*give each student a sock, have them find the other student with the matching

Cindy/SPED K-2

"How do you like to eat your sandwiches?"
I give ea child a cut out slice of paper bread for them to keep whole, cut
into halves, diag., into fours, some of the children even cut off the edges(no
From: Dixonles@aol.com
Place a straw in water. Hold your finger tightly on the top end. Lift the
straw out of the water. What happens to the water in the straw?
The water stays in the straw. As long as the top of the straw is kept
with the finger, the water cannot run out. As soon as you take the finger
the top of the straw, the water runs out. In the first case, air cannot
the straw so the water cannot leave
it. In the second case, air enters through the top and the water falls.

Alphabetically Yours: Volume: 1 Issue: Ss

Free Newsletter by Mrs. Alphabet 26 times yearly.

Welcome to the nineteenth edition of Alphabetically Yours. I am looking
forward to introducing you to a multitude of activities, suggestions, and
tips for Having Fun with the Alphabet. Please feel free to write with any
questions and comments. I will answer back A.S.A.P. Anne@mrsalphabet.com

Ss Activities:

Alphabet Animal Sound game
By Mrs. Alphabet: Letter Ss

Sing like a seal for a treat
Singing for some fish to eat!
Hear the s sound in my name
Play the s sound animal game!

San Diego
By Mrs. Alphabet

Use this poem to identify and spot S names, elicit new S names, and then
brainstorm other places to live that begin with S from your class.

Sonny, Seth, and Samantha live in San Diego with me
Sam, Susan, and Sara want to visit and see.
What other S kids do you think live there
In marvelous San Diego far, far away from here?

Interview 6 people and ask them this question: Do you like salad? Record
the results.

Describe a squirrel and then illustrate the squirrel. Fill in the blanks:
Squirrels like to ____________, _____________, and _____________. Go here
to see a squirrel

Take an imaginary trip on a spaceship; describe what you see and then
illustrate your story.

Visit South Carolina; locate on your map or globe, then go to:

Take a taste test using Snicker bars and create a rating scale or rubric with
your class. You can become a Snickers V.I.P. if you go here:
http://www.snickers.com/ and sign up. There are also Snickers post cards
that you can send.

For science, http://www.sandlotscience.com/ is a sensational site or this
super science site http://home.unicom.net/~warnerr/homepage.htm

I have a secret; go here and find out:

Use Skittles as counters or for simple math problems: estimating, counting,
graphing, adding, sorting, patterns, subtracting, or bingo markers.

Play a symphony for nap time or as background music during center time.

Smarties Math can incorporate counting, graphing, sorting, measuring,
predicting, and comparing.

Use different size suitcases for a math lesson demonstrating: color, shape,
size, sorting, and counting.

Graph your favorite S day: Saturday or Sunday.

Graph how many children were born in South Carolina.

Create a sister graph.

Set up a pictorial graph using soup labels from Campbell. The children bring
in their favorite soup label and place on the graph. Then send them off to
the Campbell Soup Company http://campbellsoup.com/school/index.html for your
school to earn prizes.

If I were a singer I would _________________, but I wouldn't

If I were a senator I would _____________________, but I wouldn't

My submarine sandwich has ______________, _______________, and ______________.

Create class S charts and place child's name at the end of his/her sentence:

Make a list of super heroes characters and visit them at:
http://www.batman-superman.com/superman/cmp/index.html and then visit here
http://www.boardmanweb.com/party/hero.htm for some party ideas.

Find objects that are scarlet in color.

Create a collage using seeds for a super project.

Try sand art and then see what's here:
http://www.peoplepage.com/rhese/SandCastles1.asp to inspire your students
the next time they go to the beach or play in the sandbox.

Create String Names by letting your students trace letters in their name
using string. First print their name using marker or glue then use string to
shape the letters.

Draw a picture of a sunflower. Discuss what you notice from the pictures.

Smell soaps and see if the children can guess and match the smell. Then go
here to have some fun with soap bubbles:

List names that begin with S and talk about what you see or hear.

Check names in the class for s sounds. Make a graph of children that have
the S sound in their name.

Read a poem and have children color code all the s words.

Try introducing this s word: signal Ask the children what they notice
about the word.

Whose family has the most S names?

Use these words to rhyme: sat same sob sell so sing seed sun

Tongue Twister: Sister Sue sang sad songs sitting sideways.

Make a predictable chart: At the subway I saw ____________.

Give 3 reasons you think some children snore.

Order your students in a line from S to R.

Record the date and count how many sit ups you can do. Repeat once a week or
monthly and try to do more .

S Artist: Alfred Sisley

S Books: Seussville, Sylvester and The Magic Pebble, Stone Soup,
Stephanie's Ponytail, and Sing a Song

S Authors: Shel Silverstein: http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/silverstein.htm
Dr. Seuss: http://www.randomhouse.com/seussville/ Seymour Simon:

Please help: To help me defer some of my expenses I have put an Amazon.com
link in my store: http://www.mrsalphabet.com/store.html and several links on
my links page: http://www.mrsalphabet.com/links.html If you could go
exploring and visit these pages I would appreciate the inquiries and support.
Thank you very much.

Alphabetically Yours,
Anne AKA Mrs. Alphabet
P.S. A special thank you to Maria for editing Alphabetically Yours.
For your Free Newsletter
Visit: http://www.mrsalphabet.com

How about using some cut outs of socks in a range of different sizes?
The kids can put them in order from largest to smallest, or smallest to

Another idea, how about having a sink and float center? Have a variety of
different objects that sink or float. They test each one out and draw a
picture of it under a sink picture or a float picture.

I hope these ideas help.

Keep smiling,


The letter "S"

We read the story Stone Soup and then make it...I bring the magic stones and
the children each bring a vegetable (canned, frozen or fresh). A grandparent
makes homemade noodles and shows us how. Some of the children help with this
preparation. Delicious!!!!

Silly Socks - we discuss ways to make silly socks (mismatched.)Then everyone
wears their version of silly socks. I bring several pairs of socks and
children who did not wear silly socks get one sock from me. We take pictures
of everyone's feet - sometimes two feet of one child and sometimes one foot
from two different children. The children have to describe ways the
feet/socks are different. We do tall and short, baby and grown up, folded and
not folded, one on top of the other, different colors, etc. I am always on
the look out for interesting socks.

Stars - I made star stampers of different sizes and the children create their
own constellation/dot to dot picture and give it a name.

We put different colors of sand at the art center and the children make sand
pictures (among other things!)

We explore sounds. Every child takes home a plastic liter bottle and fills it
1/4 to 1/2 of the way up with something and then brings it back. The children
free explore and compare the sounds for awhile. Then we close our eyes and
try to guess which bottle it is. We also do the egg sound activity from AIMS.

Kindergarten Kate
I saved these ideas earlier from this
mailring. You might already have them. The only thing is that I don't
have all the teacher's name under each idea. Thanks again!

Jan k/ne

I use many of the little items such as the spiders as counters. I buy
neat notepads or create my own notepad sheets on PrintShop, laminate
them, and
I have "workmats" to coordinate with counters, mini erasers, confeti,
etc. I
use the counters and workmats to reinforce number concepts (give each
child in
a small group 3-5 workmats and ask each to place a specific number of
items on
each: Put 7 spiders in each web). This can also be done in game format
number cards or dice. Children can begin to explore addition: Work in
Child A throws the die, places the appropriate number of spiders on her
Child B does the same. Then they put their groups together. Some 4s
and 5s
will even be ready to print numerals to go with their sets, to "record"
sets , or begin to learn to write the addition equations - they love
that long
word!! Hope this helps.
For the letter "S" I used another large S and put in
seeds of all kinds (big sack of bird seed came in handy), stickers, and
stars. We talked about being silly and what makes a smile. Judy pk
Activity S
What sinks and what floats? Fill a sink or small tub with only a few inches
of water. Collect different objects from around the house and place them one
at a time into the water. What sinks and what floats? Why do you think that
this happened? You may want to draw a picture of each object, next to it
write the name of the object, and if it sinks or floats. Then give your
child a piece of paper with a line drawn down the center. On one side write
"sinks" and on the other write "floats". Have your child draw pictures of
what sinks and what floats.

S: Scarves are especially great with classical music. Suggest
places for the scarves - in front, to the side, above below,

These two are really neat. They are geared towards the age groups we all
work with. There are pictures available too. Just go to the Young at Art
section of Moms Online. I am putting a link to the picture of the finished
products at the bottom of the description. This is a link to the main Young
at 'Art (Keyword to: aol://4344:856.Yart.7564695.519328305) screen.

•"Hands-full-of-Sunflower" is a project that I learned from a fellow child
care provider. This project incorporates a special "signature" from each
child -- their individual handprint shapes. Not only are the little hands in
the craft cute -- using a special item that reflects each child's personally
fosters self-esteem and sparks a sense of ownership. They can see themselves
clearly reflected in the craft. This large sunflower "reaches" to the sun
and has real sunflower seeds on its face, an extra tactile dimension to the
creation. We have hung our "Hands-full-of-sunflower" from the ceiling in my
daughter's room, but they could also be displayed in a deep flower pot full
of pebbles or packing peanuts... use your imagination!

Letter S part 2

TITLE: Hands-full-of-Sunflower
ESTIMATED COST: $2.50 if you have the paint, $5.50 if you buy paint
ESTIMATED TIME: 1 hour (about 45 minutes is drying time)


Paper plate
Paper towel tube
Paint brush
Sunflower seeds
Eight cutouts of child's closed handprint
Two green construction paper leaves
Green tempra paint

Paint paper towel tube with green paint. I use powdered tempra and
mix it with water, placing the marble in the jar is to help mix the paint.
Let the tube dry.

Staple the eight hands around the lip of the paper plate.

Place glue in the center of the plate and pour sunflower seeds on top.
Discard the ones that did not stick... and eat them!

It's also fun to scatter different things for "seeds" into the center of the
flower -- buttons, sparkly beads, pebbles, dried beans, peanut shells.

Staple the painted tube to the back side of the paper plate. Glue the
two leaves to the green "stem" of the flower.


The main challenge with this craft is the stapling part. When stapling the
tube to the plate, you may wish to staple one end of the tube shut first and
then staple the plate to the tube. A heavy duty stapler will work best for
this, however, the hand-held one pictured in the photos will work with a few

This link will take you to a picture of the finished project:
Hands full of sunflowers FINALE (Keyword to:
This will take you to the step by step pictures:
Hands-full-of-Sunflowers (Keyword to:

•"Curly Sunflowers" was submitted by a Moms Online regular, KLGRAY1. Her
second grade class made these sprightly creations in May, and everyone was
pleased with the results. This is a great project for children of all ages.
These paper plate flowers have warm faces and a crazy "curly" stem that winds
down as it dances in the breeze. I would have loved to see the sight of a
classroom full of these happy guys. Thanks Kristie for the wonderful idea!

ESTIMATED COST: $1.50 if you have the paint, $3.50 if you buy paint
ESTIMATED TIME: 1 hour (about 45 minutes is drying time)
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Easy (littler kids may need adult help with some of the

Paper plate
Circle of green construction paper
Paint brush
Black marker or crayon
Yellow tempra paint
Hole punch
String or yarn

Paint paper plate with yellow paint (or in some flower-type scheme of
colors). I use powdered tempras and mix them with water, rather than the
pre-mixed kind. It's cheaper and easier to mix up paint just enough for a
project rather then open a huge jar of potential spills.

Helpful Hint: Put a marble in the jar of paint. It will help mix the paint
and keep out the lumps.

Cut a wavy line in the green construction paper circle spiraling into the
center. This will be the stem of the flower.


Once the plate is dry, draw seeds around the outside edge of the plate and a
face in the center. Staple the stem to the bottom and hang the string
through a hole punched at the top.

If you feel inspired, glue feathers or tissue paper around the edges of the
plate for "petals." Cloth scaps also work well... imagination can only
improve this project!

This will take you to the finished project: Currly Sunflower Finale (Keyword
to: aol://4344:856.curlsun4.7566230.522187235)
This will taaake you to the step by step pictures:Curly Sunflowers (Keyword
to: aol://4344:856.Yart05a.7566225.522185240)

• I'm A Little Sunflower
(Sung to the tune of "I'm A Little Teapot")

I'm a little sunflower. Sit cross-legged on the
I'm so small.

Soil, sun, and water On the work soil, pat the
Make me Tall. On the word sun, round your
overhead. On the
word water, wiggle
fingers, pretending
to sprinkly the soil.

When I get all grown-up, Sit up on knees; then stand with
You will see on hips.
That I'm as big as I can be! Stand tall with arms

The kids love watching the flowers grow and singing the song.

Hold both hands out, palms up Sam the Pizza man put a pizza in a pan
dot the air and rub tummy And he put a lotta sausage on the top.
(that's good)
Now I know if he would only
put index finger on chin Add the pepperoni,
shake head yes He would have a nice-a pizza! Serve
it hot
I would!!!!!

•Scribble Art
Have the children scribble on a piece of paper with black crayon. Then have
the children use other colors to color in the sections between the scribbled
lines. They will be surprised at the colorful picture they end up with.

•Little Skunk's Hole
I stuck my head in a little skunks' hole , and the little skunk said "Oh
bless my soul" " TAKE IT OUT , TAKE IT OUT REMOVE IT !!!!!!!!!! " Well i did
not take my head out of the little skunks' hole and the little skunk said "Oh
bless my soul , TAKE IT OUT TAKE IT OUT REMOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
PSSSSSSSSSSSST I Removed it tooooooo late .

I work with 3 and 4 year olds and they LOVE this song everytime we sing or
say it they just laugh and get a kick out of it !

•Straw Painting
For each child place a small drop of tempera paint in the center of a large
piece of paper. Give each child a straw and have them blow (lightly) the
paint around the paper to make a design.

Teach the children how to skip. Show them how to Jump and kick on alternate
feet or to setp and hop on alternate feet.

•Slippery Snakes
Materials: 1 1/2 cups apple juice, one 3-ounce package any flavor gelatin,
1 envelope unflavored gelatin, 5 ice cubes, 2 self sealing plastic bags.

1. Pour half of the apple juice into a saucepan. Heat until boiling.
Remove from heat. Add flavored gelatin and stir. Pour remaining apple
juice into mixing bowl. Sprinkle it with unflavored gelatin.
2. Stir gelatin and juice in mixing bowl. Add to hot juice, add ice
cubes. Stir until ice cubes melt. Refrigerate about 10-15 minutes. Put
half of the apple gelatin into each plastic bag. Close and seal.
3. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Cut about 1/4 inch off one corner of
the bag. Hold the bag over the baking sheet, slowly squeezing the bag to
form snake shapes. Repeat with remaining mixture. Chill for 2 hours.

• Mr. Lion and his Sneeze
Mr. Lion said, "I am going to Sneeze!"
(Point to self)
So he put his head down between his knees!
(put head down between knees)
He opened his mouth and out it flew
(open mouth)
(kids sneeze loudly)
The jungle floor jiggled and the trees all wiggled
(kids wiggle and jiggle body)
And the birds were flown to Bombay
(make flying motion with hands)
And the elephants were tossed every which way
(slap hands on knees)
Mr. Lion looked up and roared
(have kids pretend to look up)
"Oh my, a windstorm just passed by!

salt shaker
1) Let the child paint a picture using regular watercolors.
2) Allow the child to shake salt on his painting while it is still wet.
3) When the painting dries it will sparkle!!

•Tie Snakes
(especially appropriate for the rain forest theme)
take one of dad's old/ugly ties- the busier the print the better. cut
open on of the ends, and fill 2/3's all the way will polyfill (that
pillow stuff). then, insert either a hanger you have made straight or a
length of medium-light gauge wire. fill the rest of the way, and
sew/glue/web-iron the tie closed again. the wire or hanger seems pretty
important to giving the body some shape and letting you give it that "s"
shape, but I guess you could skip that part if you had to. now, add googly
eyes and the long tounge with the "v" shape at the end, and you have a rain
forest andaconda! young ones should be able to most of the project!

We did this craft for our Fathers Day Gift one year, the parents thought
it was so cute, we left out the wire as it has a tendency to poke
through the ends. When making your snake leave the tag on the
underside, the children put the snake around their neck and put their
finger through the tag to make them move. (we used dowling to poke the
stuffing down the tie.

•SNAKE SUPPER. (Sorry--the author is not coming to mind (sigh), I'll try to
find it!) This book is similar to the Hungry Caterpillar as it builds from
page to page and it doesn't take long at all for the children to "catch
on" to the rhythm and join right in.

• How about another... The Very Greedy Python... Eric Carl and ummm Buckley I
think. It has a wonderful caidance and rhythm.

(tune:"rock-a-bye baby")
Swans glide across the pond in the park,
With feathers so white and beaks that are dark.
They spread out there wings and take to the air.
The swans fly away, but I don't know where.

I saw a little creature that was slimy, smooth, and wet.
I thought it was the oddest thing that I had ever met.
It was something like a lizard, but it had no scales at all.
It was something like a frog, but it didnt hop- it crawled.
So I took it to my teacher and she told me right away,
" I see you brought a salamander into class today."

•Squirrel facts:
Sizes-----5" (pigmy squirrel) to 36"(giant squirrels)
Food------nuts, seeds and buds
Stores food. A squirrel will bury it's food away from the tree or place
where it was found. They use their strong sense of smell to relocate food.
Kinds: red, grey, black, grey, flying
Flying Squirrel---glides from higher to lower tree branches by means of a
blanket-like membrane of furry skin stretched between it's long forelegs and
hindlegs. It's flattened tail is used to glide their parachute-like glides.

• Nut sorting:
Basket of nuts with shells, divided container for sorting, tongs to pick
them up with. Children can sort. (expansion: add a dice, the children roll
dice to see how many to pickup, provide a chart with nut that is opened,
children can see what's inside)

• Add nuts to the sand table for burying.

• Use nuts like marbles for painting.

• Make squirrel tracks;
Cut a potato or use foot pads(glue onto linoleum) into paw prints. Use
potato like a stamp. If you use the footpads you need to roll the paint on
with little paint rollers.

• Books: Nuts to You

• This Little Squirrel
This little squirrel said, "Let's run & play."
(point to each finger in turn)
This little squirrel said, "Let's hunt nuts today."
This little squirrel said, "Yes, nuts are good."
This little squirrel said, "Yes, they're our best food."
This little squirrel said, "Come climb this tree."
(hold forearm up, hand open; run fingers of other hand to top fast, ending
with thumb & forefinger making a circle)
"And crack these nuts, 1-2-3."

• Gray Squirrel
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your fluffy tail.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your fluffy tail.

Wrinkle up your little nose,
Hold a nut between your toes.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your fluffy tail

•Another Book: Squirrels by Brian Wildsmith

• Games: "Autumn Short and Long Path Games from More Than Counting
In the short path game, two identical game boards have a squirrel sticker on
one end followed by circle labels. The game movers are acorns mounted on
wooden disks. A die or spinner is used for the children to decide how to

In the long path game, one game board has a path of circle labels (some
marked with acorns) between a squirrel and an oak tree. Small toy squirrels
are used as the movers and dice are used for the children to decide how to
move. A basket of acorns is available for children to collect at the end of
the game or when they land on acorns.

If you're familiar with More Than Counting, you know these are just ideas
that can be used with their format of open math games. I actually made two
short path boards with a squirrel on one end and a tree on the other (I used
stickers and laminated) with round labels in between. I use tiny baskets as
movers and have acorns available for collection along the way.

• PAPER TOWEL ROLL SNAKE I think this would be good for Earth Day. Recycle
those p.towel rolls! Start at the end of the paper towel roll & cut in a
circular or spiral line like the one that is already on it.When you get to
the end cut out a head shape.Now cut the tail into a tapered shape .Now the
snake can be put on your arm>it will wrap around.Let the kids paint.I hope
you can understand this.You are really cutting a head & tail shape on each
end of the cut paper towel.

•Donut Spiders
buy those small ( i think hostess) chocolate covered donuts......have each
child count out 8 pretzel sticks...then they can stick the pretzels around
the outside of the small donut for spider legs!!!!!

•Have a Silly Sandwich Social

• Use Sandpaper to cut out the letter S so the children can feel
the shape.

•Have a graphing activity to graph favorite Sandwiches

•Make a Spider

•String painting

•Play Simon Says

•When all the cows are sleeping and the sun has gone to bed,
Up jumped the scarecrow, and this is what he said:
"I'm a jingle jangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat,
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that."

When all the hens were roosting and the moon's behind the cloud,
Up jumped the scarecrow, and this is what he said:
"I'm a jingle jangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat,
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that."

*Also see ideas in these files: Themes, Library Extenders, Any Day /Everyday
Activities, and Dramatic Play/Prop Boxes for more activities that may start
with your focus letter.

Since you do so much with snakes , the book :"Mouse Count" . Then but 1
square of gray felt and 1 green. Cut 10 tiny mice and 1 snake for the
feltboard. The kids love "Mouse Count" (Scholastic / by Ellen Stoll
BOOK: Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle. You trace a perfect star lightly in
pencil on regular paper or thicker manilla constr. paper. THEN create
a 1 -10 dot to dot with pen. Erase the star. THEN Make copes on copier.
After kids do dot to dot they see star. Give them tiny scraps of
bleedable tissue paper. Tell tem to just place it on their star. Give
each child a wet paintbrush (NO extra water/ the paper will fall apart)
and have them'paint ' with the water over the tissue. In 15 min. remove
tisue for a beautiful star. Try this at home and you will be hooked like
I am !!/ so EZ so pretty....!!Can use on butterflies rainbows...
SCIENCE : Seal facts, stars.
ake capes and masks , kids cut red "S" and glue to capes.
Silly Socks : Make Sock puppets.
Safety Signs (we have a book)
Seashells: Draw a large seashell . On the shell print "Susie sells
seashels by the seashore" Kids cut shells and water color. At Circle
they practice the tongue twister - they love it! Bring in dyed shell
macaroni and glue to form an "S".
BOOK:"Never Talk to Strangers" Gie a lesson on this.
SUN and seasons.
Squirrels : BOOK"Nuts to You".
Shamrocks ('tis the season!!)

Kim ;D
http://www.nuttinbutkids.ufw2.com/spiders.html - spiders

http://senckenberg.uni-frankfurt.de/games/mem1/mem1e.htm - spider memory

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Troy/5059/spider.html - spider units

From: patrick.colleen.g@worldnet.att.net