While we were in Port Elizabeth, South Africa working as Interns at Charles Duna Primary School, Jaime Roy and I created and implemented a Pen Pal Program
with the 4th Graders of Charles Duna
and the 4th Graders of Martin Luther King Elementary (Dixmoor, IL)
and Neoga Elementary (Neoga, IL) in America.
My Daughter-In-Law, LaToya King-Lawrence is a Counselor at Martin Luther King Elementary School and she provided me with students names to be matched with the South African students.
Jaime’s Mother, Shari Roy is a Para-Professional at Neoga Elementary School and she provided Jaime with students names to be matched with the South African students.
I created a PenPal lesson plan and presented it to the 4th Grade Teacher, Ms. Phumla Mgcuwa and she implemented the lesson to the 4th Graders.
We matched the American children with the South African children and the South African children were given the name of their American PenPals to write a letter. Once the letters were completed and collected, we took individuals pictures of each student to include with their letter. The letters with pictures enclosed were mailed to America on our last work day at Charles Duna; October 04, 2013.
Since my return to America, I have been working diligently to collect the response letters and pictures of the students of Martin Luther King Elementary to the students of Charles Duna.
I would love to continue this PenPal program as long as possible, but I am faced with some challenges. The main challenge is that the school year for Charles Duna is January through December and the school year for Martin Luther King is September through June. This means when the South African children receive their response letters from the American (Martin Luther King) children this month, the South African children have entered a new school year and are no longer 4th Graders; they are now 5th Graders. If we are able to get the South African children to write another letter, the American children will have then entered a new school year as well.
Paul Miedema, Director of Calabash Tours has agreed to assist me with getting the letters to and from Charles Duna, once he receives them in South Africa.
In order to possibly be successful in continuing this PenPal Program, I will need someone working inside of the school to assist. Hopefully, we will be able to secure someone. I will continue to keep you posted on our progress. If you have any suggestions that will help us continue, PLEASE let me know. If nothing more, PLEASE pray for our success!