Adopter Spotlight: How Pen Palling Changed My Life


Do you remember the day when you had pen pals? The anticipation you would feel when you knew you had a letter on the way. And, the excitement that filled your heart once you received it. Pen Palling is a wonderful way for getting to know interesting people. Everybody has a story… and through this on-going method of written discussion, you are given the opportunity to learn more about a person, their story, their culture, and sometimes topics that you may have not known about or fullly understood.

June Simonson of Warsaw Federal, an Adopter in the Adopt A Class program, had an experience last year through her pen palling program that has forever changed her life. A 12 year old student, who will be remain nameless for privacy reasons, wrote about his story of immigrating to America because the country he came from was not safe for his family. In his pen pal letter seen below, he describes that there is constant killing in his home town. He goes on to say that the reason why he wants to live in America is because “he wants to be a good person and help everybody who needs help”. He further explains he wants to be a Police Officer because he wants to live in a good city.

Immigration is such a sensitive topic in our country. Through this this pen pal exchange, June saw a side of immigration that’s rarely shared or discussed– the child’s side. Touched by this young person’s experiences and view on life, June began to re-evalute her personal thoughts and ideas towards the topic of immigration. She explained  “As an American I am often confused about immigration and what I “should” think about it with all of the opinions and  morality involved. This student’s letter gave great insight into this situation as it gives real depth and insight into the life of an immigrant child, and I am better for it.” 

Pen Palling is one of four keys to a quality Adopt A Class program. Not only is it a vehicle for one on one discussion but it also helps students academically by giving them the chance to practice writing and creative expression. Interested in starting a pen palling program this year and not sure where to start? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

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