Connecting kids through letter exchanges

In an initiative led by one of MAMA’s Directors, Leigh Southwell, some Australian kids have been developing links with students at one of MAMA’s partner schools, Mercy School in Honiara. The program connects students through a hand written letter exchange. The letters provide an avenue for kids in Australia and the Solomon Islands to share ideas, stories and some insights into their local culture.

The Deputy Principal at Albion Park Rail Public School in New South Wales, Glenn Southwell, says that “connecting the students has not only opened their eyes to global issues but has profoundly demonstrated the power of one person to positively transform the lives of others in our world today”. He says that “the pen pal initiative has engaged students to understand that we all have a responsibility to help others and to develop friendly relations with children from other cultures and backgrounds”.

the pen pal initiative has engaged students to understand that we all have a responsibility to help others and to develop friendly relations with children from other cultures and backgrounds

Aimed at building connections and bridging cultural divides during the primary school years, Mr Southwell remarks “my students have realised that we can all learn from each other wherever we are in the world. The experience of writing and receiving letters and photos of their pen pals has been so exciting and rewarding for my Year Six students. It helps create brighter and connected futures by bridging the gaps through the pen pal initiative!”

Students at St Edmund’s College in Canberra that are participating in the program also love writing to their new friends. The students say that “the program is valuable because we are interacting with people from a different school and a different culture.” They love learning about life in the Solomon Islands, and hearing about their friends’ school, their home and their interests and hobbies. Similarly, the students at Mercy School talk about how much they love receiving the letters and learning about life in Australia.

If you know a school that would like to connect with one of MAMA’s partners around the world through a student letter exchange program, contact us at makeamarkaustralia@gmail.com.

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