Passionate About Columbia SC
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Power of a Pen Pal Project

The Power of a Pen Pal Project | Columbia SC Moms BlogIt was recently Universal Letter Writing week, which had me wondering:

Does anyone still take actual pen to paper?

So I did what any tech dependent would, I posted my question on Facebook:

Anyone out there have a Pen Pal?

It turns out, they do! And I wish I did also.

Merriam Webster defines a Pen Pal as a friend made and kept through correspondence. It’s by nature an adventure started with someone you don’t know. 

That’s a recipe for a good grade school project right there; combining lessons on the grammatical form of letter writing and the social norms of meeting someone new. It’s no wonder that Pen Pal projects often begin as school assignments. 

But I had no idea that some continued for years. 

My friend Karolynn, a mother of two boys, replied to my Facebook post by saying:

“I’ve had the same pen pal since sixth grade…”

Karolynn is not as old as me, but still, since sixth grade is a lot of letter writing years! 

I probed a bit more and found that Karolynn’s sixth grade teacher had a son in the military. The class sent Christmas cards to soldiers stationed overseas that year. I’m pretty sure my eyes grew wide and my mouth dropped open a bit when I kept reading. 

Letters. Gift packages. Travels. Family meetings. Keepsakes. Oh, my!

It’s not too late for me! I could be an older sister, or ok, second mama, to a Pen Pal somewhere. And it’s just the right time for my fifth grader to begin. 

I don’t even have to go far to find a name and address of someone in the military I can connect with. My church keeps a list of those connected to our parish who are serving and I don’t know any of them – yet. 

But I hope to get to know one of them as their Pen Pal. And I hope we have a story as long lasting as Karolynn’s one day. 

Karolynn says, “There’s something more thoughtful and personal about a letter than a text.” Would your child agree? Do you have a Pen Pal story to share?


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