The Meritas Family of Schools is full of unique and resourceful opportunities. With schools located in Arizona, Switzerland, Mexico, Florida, China, New York, Texas and Nevada, collaborative opportunities abound, with technology allowing each school to partner and experience another campus with just the click of a button.
This past January, Mrs. Foster’s first grade class at HIS embarked upon a wonderful adventure by becoming pen pals with Ms. Suzanne Ryan’s first grade class at Rancho Solano Preparatory School, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Collaborating together, the teachers wanted this to be a fun and educational experience for their students. The initial correspondence between the classes was an email and class photo sharing information about the school’s location and the fun co-curricular classes the students were experiencing at each school.
The first graders in Mrs. Foster’s class were especially excited to share with their pen pals their fun field trip to see a Flat Stanley play, as well as creating a Valentine’s message email. The most recent round of correspondence involved each student in Mrs. Foster’s class receiving a personalized letter and drawing from a pen pal from Ms. Ryan’s class.
The students were so excited to read and share their own personalized correspondence in class during reading time. Each letter also asked specific questions of the student regarding family, birthday, pets, and favorite things to do.
The teachers said the students were eager to respond to their pen pals and answer their specific questions. Along with learning and sharing information with a sister school, the students are practicing and enhancing their writing skills and learning the components of a letter: date, salutation, body, closing and signature.
The students are also learning how an envelope is prepared with a stamp and a return address, and to address the envelope to the person receiving the letter – quite different from email!
“It has been such a wonderful experience for my students this year,” Mrs. Foster said. “Seeing their enthusiasm for writing and learning about another school in our Meritas Family has been amazing. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of such a unique and rich educational culture with Meritas. I would encourage my peers to reach out next year to a sister school. The rewards are endless,” she said.