My Summer Pen-Pal

I received an email from Kiansh’s mother in early August.  He was in my preschool class last year, and he misses me.

I wanted to share what Kiansh told me before going to bed a couple of days ago.  I thought you would love to hear it.  So, we just finished our book reading that night and exchanged goodnight kisses.  I was ready to sleep and Kiansh started talking to me.  He said, “Mumma, I miss Jennie.”  I said, “I’m sure you do.  What is it you miss about her? ” He said, “I love to play with her.  I miss that.”

Mom’s email went on to say she wondered how she could make him feel better.  Then she remembered my blog post photo reading a book to Gloria and Oscar.  (Thank you Pete Springer)  Kiansh wanted to see that photo, and it made him feel much better.  He wanted to write me a letter.

Wait… write me a letter?  I have a better idea.  We can be pen-pals for the summer.  Yes!

And so it began.  I wrote Kiansh a pen-pal letter:

I also included this photo:

Kiansh was thrilled, and surprised that I had a pool.  Of course he wrote back and enclosed this photo:

His letter did not say “Hello Jennie”.  It said “Hello pen-pal.”  My heart was full.  He was checking the mail every day for my letter.  His mom said she could not express his joy and happiness in words, so that’s why she sent the photo.  He just wanted to say, “Tell Jennie, I love you”.  Kiansh’s summer fun is vacationing in Hershey Park PA.

I couldn’t wait to write back!  I did not say “Dear Kiansh.”  I said “Dear pen-pal.”

I included photos of the many fish we have around the pool, and also a photo of Gloria at the pool.  I think he will like that!  Hubby spent many summers visiting Hershey Park when he was a boy growing up in Pennsylvania.  That was another connection.


Pen-pals are about connecting, discovering new things with each other, and most importantly building a friendship.  I have pen-pals with two other preschools classes, But I Smile Anyway… and I didn’t have my glasses on….

I did not have student pen-pals, until now.  I think this is the best thing since sliced bread.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Gloria, Inspiration, preschool, wonder, young children and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to My Summer Pen-Pal

  1. Ritu says:

    This is so cute!!

  2. Awesome sauceum Jennie! I loved having a pen-pal when I was a kid in school.

  3. K.L. Hale says:

    I love this, Jennie! Your spirit is contagious! 💛🥰 there’s nothing like having adorable pen pals.

  4. You made a little boy very happy with a simple act of kindess. Brava!

  5. Jim Borden says:

    what a wonderful way to keep those connections going!

  6. What a great way to start my Monday morning it was to read about your Pen-Pal Kiansh!
    I have had only one Pen-Pal and it was when I was in my mid to late 30’s. We met while vacationing in Hawaii at lunch. She was a native Hawaiian. We just got to talking and that lunch turned into hours of talking. We wrote for a few years then life does it what does and we quit writing. It was great fun and interesting while it lasted though.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m glad this brought back memories of your Hawaiian pen-pal. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Deborah. I’m sure he will write again, and so will I. 😀

  7. Loved this post. Agree, pen pals are totally cool!! ❤️

  8. Such a special relationship between teachers and their children. Whata gift to you both! 🙂

  9. I’m happy somebody still does this! I thought Pen-pals were a thing nobody does anymore.
    Gold star to you Jennie!

  10. Darlene says:

    How wonderful, for you and for your pen pal.

  11. quiall says:

    What a great connection to maintain with your student. You are creating lasting memories.

  12. beetleypete says:

    Just delightful. I hope he continues to write until he is a grown man.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  13. Mchat says:

    So very heart touching 💞

  14. Absolutely priceless Jennie is the love shared here. 💚😍

  15. Don Ostertag says:

    That is so sweet, Jennie. So very very sweet.

  16. Dan Antion says:

    Pen Pals – what a great idea, Jennie.

  17. beth says:

    you two are the sweetest pen pals ever! love it

  18. So precious and beautiful. You impact the kids lives in such a special way. As o lovely you are pen pals. Lovely. Thank you for sharing this.

  19. petespringerauthor says:

    Another post filled with brilliance. Letting our students know we care about them is ALWAYS the right way to go. You have to know by now how much the kids enjoy watching their teacher having fun. Hence, jumping in at the pool is how we should all live. The payoff was you added to your unique connection and got that adorable photo of Kiansh in the process.

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks so much, Pete. May we always remember to live life with with enthusiasm, and pay attention to children. They need every moment of joy we can give them.

  20. TanGental says:

    How utterly delightful. I can imagine your cheeks aching with smiling! I wonder what the best thing alternative was before you could buy sliced bread? Straight carrots? Toothpaste?

  21. Awww. How fun, Jennie. You filled another child’s heart, and clearly he filled yours too. Hugs.

  22. bosssybabe says:

    Aw Jennie, this is so sweet and heartwarming! You are such an approachable and kind teacher to your students and such a great support to their parents!! 🙂

  23. I cannot LOVE this enough!!!! The impact you make on your students is obvious. What an amazing story!!

  24. AmbersBlue says:

    Lovely, kudos to your positivity and playfulness and this great happy post 😊

  25. Oh Jennie, you are just an amazing soul. I hope you are recovering well from your surgery.

  26. Pingback: My Summer Pen-Pal – Site Title

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  28. This is so amazing and very heart touching. You need o have TikTok too, Jennie! 😉 xx Michael

  29. the6parkers says:

    This is the sweetest thing!

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