NBC NATIONAL NEWS — What started out as a writing assignment for fourth graders in Brockport, New York has turned into a lesson in geography.
A message tucked into a tiny bottle made it all the way from Brockport to a tiny island near Portugal, and another bottle ended up in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The project began with fourth graders learning how to write letters and correctly punctuate their addresses, but when students brought up stories in class about messages in bottles, fourth grade teacher Chris Albrecht came up with an idea that turned the tides.
Last winter 43 of bottles were stuffed with letters by fourth graders at Hill Elementary.
"We're about to do our writing assignment and put two and two together and thought we could tailor the writing assignment to do this crazy idea of message in a bottle," Mr. Albrecht recalls.
In March the bottles were launched into the Atlantic Ocean near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
One bottle made it to Nova Scotia, Canada.
Another one was found in a tiny group of islands called the Azores.
That one was Curtis Kipple's bottle.
Today, Curtis now in fifth grade, and Mr. Albrecht shared what happened with this year's fourth grade students.
Of those 43 bottles that were launched only two have been found.
Inside the bottles was contact information for the school -- a phone number and email -- and that's how the people who found the bottles got in contact with them.
The bottles were launched off the coast of North Carolina because the fourth grade teacher has family there.
His family found fishermen who were willing to dump the bottles.
All the bottles were glass, so there was no environmental concern.