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Posted November 14, 2013

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Students Write Letters to Children in Third-World Countries

In this age of social media and the Internet, old fashion pen pals are still being sought to correspond with children who don't have access to technology.

Letter writing may seem like a thing of the past in this age of social media and technology, but there are many children in third world countries who can only correspond by the written word.

WorldWide Pen Pals is a group of Albuquerque teachers using letter writing to strengthen communication and thought processing skills among their students. This authentic and purposeful activity contributes to children’s growth in the Common Core State Standards of writing informative and narrative texts. Having contact with kids in the most remote of places helps our children understand that not all children share in the basic right to an education. The students have real life experiences that reinforce their understanding of history, culture and geography.

Last year, the first letters were sent from students at Monte Vista Elementary to children living on the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. These children survive by subsistence living. If the rainy season does not result in severe flooding the children get to class by boat. During the dry season they walk along dirt trails to a classroom that now stands thirty feet above the ground.

WorldWide Pen Pals is building connections for teachers who would like to have their students write to other students in out of the way places. They currently have classes in Papau New Guinea, Bangladesh, Thailand, India and Mexico looking for American students to correspond with.

Contact johnheidrich@comcast.net if your class is interested in taking part in the pen pal program.

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