October 12, 2016
Finley Elementary Pen Pals
Have you ever had a pen pal? Mrs. Williamson’s third graders learned to write letters last year to pen pals across town! Second graders from Sunset View Elementary in Kennewick became our best friends through letters, notes and encouragements all school year long.
It all began in the fall of 2014 with a class letter to Mrs. Sonderland’s second graders. The teachers matched the students up by looking at their interests and personalities. Both classrooms learned to communicate through their letters. Each class asked their pen pals questions about hobbies, families, school, and friends. The pals swapped photos and started the writings. Mrs. Williamson said that it was a great morning when the letters would arrive.
“The students would get their work done in a snap, knowing they would get their letter to read when finished!” says Mrs. Williamson. “The kids couldn’t wait to write back.”
One of the highlights was when the Sunset View pals wrote encouraging letters and sent notes during the state SBAC testing. The third graders took their “lucky” letters to the computer lab with them to help focus and stay positive about the test.
Each class would write back and forth, answering questions and learning more about one another, while drawing pictures or doing other artwork to share. By May 2015, the students felt like they knew their pals very well and wanted to meet. In fact, some students felt like they had made new BFFs!
Thanks to both district’s support, the kids met at the Carousel of Dreams in Kennewick. It was a wonderful day of meeting that included playing together, reading jokes together, visiting the 9-11 Memorial, having carousel rides and eating lunch as the final touch. Of course, the students exchanged their addresses so they could keep writing over the summer.