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Tracking Teddy's Travels

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At Hillside Elementary School in Berwyn, Pa., a student's teddy bear has become an important tool for teaching world geography.

The bear recently traveled throughout the United States and to more than a dozen foreign countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, England, Germany, Singapore, Oman, Yugoslavia, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka. The bear returned with several pouches full of toys, magazines, coloring books, puzzles, and messages.

The seven-week journey will be traced on a map with information gathered from a logbook the stuffed bear carried in its waist pouch.

"It's turned into quite a project. The whole school's gotten involved,'' said Mark Wheeler, a USAir customer-service representative who organized the trip for his 6-year-old daughter Anne's kindergarten class.

Mr. Wheeler asked a flight crew to take the bear to Columbus, Ohio, a destination his daughter chose after learning about Christopher Columbus in school. From there, the bear was passed along from crew to crew, and, eventually, from airline to airline.

"Everybody got involved, and everybody really enjoyed it,'' Mr. Wheeler said. "Even the customs agents. They stamped the logbook like a passport.''

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