HOUSTON SCHOOL PEN PALS
The Houston School Pen Pals initiative is designed to create positive relationships Houston students through handwritten letters. In addition to building friendships which we believe can be life-changing, the benefits of writing and receiving handwritten notes are exponential!
4 PEN PAL BENEFITS
Reading & Writing Skills Improve
Reading and writing skills improve as students practice their writing skills and organize their thoughts onto paper. They are writing for a real purpose and a real audience. Some kids who moan & groan when it comes to writing eagerly want to begin writing back to their pen pals!
Compassion & Understanding
Having a pen pal develops compassion and understanding of other cultures and values. Writing to people who are different than themselves help them to learn more about the world around them. Despite the culture differences, it’s not uncommon to hear students comment, “My pen pal is exactly like me! She likes the same books as me and loves dogs, too!” “My pen pal plays basketball and Minecraft, too!”
Development of Social Skills
Having a pen pal promotes many life skills, including the development of social skills. A letter filled “all about me” and no questions does not make for a good pen pal relationship! Just as a letter that sounds like “20 Questions” does not foster relationship.
Promotes Patience & Delayed Gratification
It’s 2017. We’re all guilty of wanting instant text message replies or quick email responses. Students: “Did our pen pals write back yet?” Teacher: “Ummm … we just sent their letters yesterday.” Students experience the joy of anticipation and then the satisfying reward of getting something after a wait. This makes receiving our pen pal letters even more special!