A is for Address
Let’s start with the basics. What is an address?
An address is the place where a person lives. In the United States, an address will usually include:
- house number
- street name
- zip code
Addresses are important for many reasons, such as giving a friend directions to your house, or helping first responders (like firefighters) know where you are. For this article, we’re focusing on addresses for sending and receiving letters.
When sending a letter you put the recipient’s name at the top, so the address will look like this:
123 Happy Street
Sometown, NC 01123
As your letter makes it way through the postal system, it gets sorted using all the information in the mailing address. We won’t get into the particulars of the sorting system now but, once the letter has made it to your town, your mail carrier knows which house to leave it at, because you have listed both a street name and a house or apartment number. Without all the proper information, your letter wouldn’t be able to get to its intended destination.
Keeping Track of Addresses
Let’s say you want to write to your friend Anne. You know she lives in Arizona, but you don’t know where exactly. First you’ll need to find out her full address – this might mean asking an adult who knows, or calling Anne to ask her.
Once you have the address, you’ll write it on the outside of the envelope but, once it’s sent you may not remember it anymore. This is okay if you only want to send Anne a note one time, but if you want to keep writing her it would be helpful to keep track of her address. This is where tools like address books come in handy.
An address book is just what it sounds like – a book of addresses. These are small books with blanks for each person’s name, address, and other information like their phone number or birthday. They’re separated into alphabetical sections, sometimes with tabs, to make finding the right address easier.
You can also keep track of addresses on index cards (my personal favorite), in an Excel spreadsheet, or with a smartphone app.
Everyone needs to know their own address!
Addresses aren’t just important for sending and receiving mail, they’re also critical in helping first responders reach you in case of an emergency. If you don’t know your personal address, I challenge you to memorize it this week!
Don’t miss the rest of A-Z Letter Writing for Kids!