Last week, KidsPost turned 20. The week before that, I invited any former children to share their memories of The Washington Post’s page for children. Several did, proving that, whatever we accomplished, we didn’t strip kids of their ability to read.

Sereen Thahir said she was excited when KidsPost debuted in 2000.

“I remember my 4th grade teacher would have me bring it into class every day to post on the chalkboard,” she wrote. “To this day, when asked for a ‘fun fact,’ I always share that I had a joke published in the KidsPost when I was 10.”

I believe that Sereen’s joke stands the test of time:

What do you call a pair of recyclable birds?

Two cans!

Wrote Sereen: “The pride I felt in coming up with such a ridiculous pun, writing it down on printer paper, mailing it in, and then seeing it get published is something I haven’t forgotten.”

Today, Sereen — now 29 and living in Chantilly — works in international affairs. She has her own online subscription to The Post.

“I really don’t think I would’ve ended up here without the KidsPost shaping me in elementary school!” Sereen wrote.

Tim Harwood was 8 when he started reading KidsPost.

“I am an avid sports fan so I would read the Sports section and the KidsPost as much as I could,” he wrote.

Tim is now 28, married, a Montgomery County teacher and recent new home buyer.

“What better way to feel like an adult than to order a Post subscription?” he wrote. “This is the first week of my subscription and delivery and it really helps fill these quarantine days, better than staring at my phone or computer more than I need to!”

Tim is one of several KidsPost readers I heard from who became teachers. That makes me really proud.

Another is Kelsey Bass, a high school teacher in Harrisonburg, Va., where she brings The Post and that city’s paper, the Daily News-Record, into the classroom.

“Turns out newspapers are great starting points for learning what the youth thinks about current events,” Kelsey wrote. “It starts discussion and debate better than anything else I’ve tried.”

“The first day I brought the day’s newspapers in a student looked at me suspiciously and said, ‘What are you doing with literature of the boomers?’ ” she continued. “That was good for a laugh. We’ve had all sorts of genuine conversations and discussions thanks to The Post.”

Bridget Ryan was 10 when KidsPost started. Her moment of KidsPost fame came after she wrote in responding to a question about whether school buses should have seat belts.

“The pencil that was part of the ‘prize package’ is still proudly displayed in my pencil collection, and I think the T-shirt is in my collection of T-shirts with special memories from my childhood,” Bridget wrote.

In the summer of 2000, David Summers and his family hosted a Polish teenager for a month.

“We were faintly apprehensive about filling the time with him, and were saved by KidsPost,” wrote David, of Arlington. “He studied it every morning, and every evening after work, we had a language lesson made interesting by the content.”

The teenager — Michal Dousa — went back to Poland, where today he runs the Zarowka Café in Krakow.

Wrote David: “I check on his English from time to time on the internet. You did a good job.”

Kelly Casey Van Horn is a second-grade teacher at Waverly Elementary in Howard County. When KidsPost debuted, she had just started her very first teaching job, with third-graders at Hayfield Elementary in Alexandria. Her class was the first selected to have its photo featured in KidsPost.

Kelly emailed me an image of that page, from Nov. 30, 2000. What caught my eye was the main story, about the continuing drama over the results of the 2000 presidential election. We’d asked kids how they would decide whether George W. Bush or Al Gore was the winner.

There were some silly suggestions, such as settling the race in a boxing ring or seeing who could keep a sour Warhead candy in his mouth the longest, but there some thoughtful ones, too.

Michael Cain, 11, of Chantilly suggested Bush should serve one year as president, followed by one year for Gore. “At the end of the two years the citizens could vote on whose year was best. Whoever won would be president for the other two years,” Michael wrote.

Emily Fitzgerald, 10, of Chevy Chase wrote: “I think the government should recount the votes in all of Florida, not just some parts of Florida.”

The District’s Ryan O’Toole, who was 10, wrote: “American citizens should vote directly for the president of the United States, not the Electoral College.”

Ryan, if you’re out there, are you in a position to do something about this now?

Twitter: @johnkelly

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