Lots has been going on since I was last here, sorry its been such a long time. Since I’ve posted I’ve just about finished my first semester of college, have written letters with the now 7th graders at Fredericksburg Academy, have created a short movie, and have received a set of letters from the 6th grade at the Royal Kids School. Hopefully I’ll get a few posts up about some interesting things we discussed in my global classes in the next week, but for now I want to talk about working with the 7th graders.
Part of my senior exhibit was starting a pen-pal program between Fredericksburg Academy students and Royal Kids students. This program allowed the kids to get to know someone across the world and have a continued relationship. I didn’t want the program to end just because I graduated, which seems to be the fate of many projects. Instead of passing it off to another senior, I instead decided to keep it going myself. The project is still very close to my heart, and I didn’t really want to hand over the reigns anyways.
So, when I was home for Thanksgiving I set up a time to visit with the 7th grade and deliver letters from this summer and write responses. I was nervous that they wouldn’t be into it anymore, but that wasn’t the case and the kids were excited to get their letters and even remembered their pen pals…I definitely underestimated them. I had kids whose letters were mixed up and were trying to find their original pen-pal so they could continue that connection.
Before we wrote responses I shared a video that recapped our trip from the summer and shared clips of the children introducing themselves which was awesome for the FA kids to get to see and hear their pen pal speak. I even got my little brother, Zeke, to talk about his experience meeting the kids and being in Kenya to give them a perspective from a peer rather than an adult figure (weird that I’m an adult…).
I’m trying to put together something similar to share with the kids in Kenya so they can get to know their FA pen pals a little bit better.
It was really rewarding to see that my project actually did affect the kids and that they genuinely seemed interested in what I was bringing them. Nate (my middle brother) even brought his history class to watch the video recap that morning. It’s been awesome to see that even though I’ve graduated, I’m still a part of the FA community and can still give back when I’m home.
One of the most exciting things is that I actually received letters from Kenya that they wrote because they wanted to keep the project going. I didn’t know if the program would fall apart when I was no longer carrying the letters myself, but it seems to be that the letters will be able to continue to flow, which is amazing!
I’m planning to head back to FA this Friday and share those letters once I’m officially home on my winter break!