Pen-pal program builds friendships within the Mehlville School District community

Second-grade students at Hagemann Elementary School have been getting to know their peers on the other side of the Mehlville School District at Rogers Elementary School through a pen pal program.

The second-grade classes at each school were paired up, giving all of the students an opportunity to gain new friends within their own community.

“I’ve never had a pen pal before,” Hagemann Elementary second-grader Josie Fisher said. “It was cool to get to know someone new.”

The two schools initiated the pen-pal program at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year, and students have been writing letters to each other on a monthly basis. The program is tied to the second-grade curriculum by requiring students to learn the proper format for letter writing. Students also worked on their technology skills by typing one of their monthly letters.

“The students have really enjoyed having pen pals,” Rogers Elementary second-grade teacher Karen Bridges said. “They have to think of new questions to ask their pen pals each time. They’re always so excited to get mail.”

This year’s pen-pal program culminated with a trip to Clydesdale Park on Thursday, April 19, where the pen pals met each other for the first time. The students enjoyed a picnic lunch, went on a buddy walk and participated in several team-building activities together.

With parent permission, the Hagemann and Rogers students exchanged addresses so they can remain pen pals during their summer break.