We Got Mail!

Our pen pals in Michigan loved our valentines, and they wrote back.  That’s what pen pals do.

They’re the MAC PACK.  How cool is that?

Dear friends in the Aqua Room,

Thank you for our Valentines.  We are so happy to be your Pen Pals!



What is it about pen pals?  If you ever had a pen pal, you know; the thrill of getting a letter from someone you’ve never met, and then writing back, is a communication that emailing can’t begin to match.  It’s bonding.  Pen to paper is emotional.  Your heart  comes out of that pen.  When the reader holds your letter and reads the words, it’s a cresting ocean wave, in the same way.

Yes, wow!

For young children, there’s more.  Writing letters and communicating with other children is huge in developing social and emotional skills.  In today’s world, giving children a strong sense of self and also of others, is #1 in growing kindness and goodness and giving.

And that can all happen with a pen pal.


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 behavior, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Kindness, literacy, preschool, Teaching young children and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to We Got Mail!

  1. Fraggle says:

    I loved having a pen pal when I was in school, good stuff Jennie.

  2. beth says:

    A win-win for all of us!

  3. beetleypete says:

    Fond memories of my childhood pen pals in other countries. The air mail letters arriving, the unusual stamps, and struggling to translate the expected poor English. But nothing beat the thrill of those letters arriving just for me!
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. joylennick says:

    Pen-pals are just great! Bring ’em on.

  5. Carla says:

    I agree. I still love getting a card or letter in the mail, so much better than an email. I love that you are still doing this with your kids, Jennie.

  6. Darlene says:

    I agree, pen pals are wonderful. I had one from Australia and we corresponded for a number of years. Oh, the excitement every time a letter arrived.

    • Jennie says:

      How wonderful that you had a pen pal from Australia. The whole premise of handwriting letters and connecting with other children around the world is really important. And yes, the excitement when a letter arrives!

  7. L. Marie says:

    I remember having a pen pal when I was a kid. One of my teachers encouraged it. What a wonderful activity for children.

  8. Faith and love . Give and receive . So happy for the children.

  9. Had my share of pen pals as a youngster, and it is great to see that still being encouraged today, Jennie!

    • Jennie says:

      It’s such a good thing in so many ways. It’s not popular today, because of emailing and texting, yet I will keep this alive. Promise!

  10. How exciting. Thanks for sharing, Jennie.

  11. Opher says:

    The power of love!!

  12. quiall says:

    Teaching children the importance of communication crosses boundaries that should never have existed in the first place. It makes us one.

  13. Ritu says:

    Aw how lovely!
    We’ve received ours, and will be opening them with our new to penpal children!

  14. Always such a pleasure to the world of the children. Oh pen pals was such a treat.

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    Way to go, Beth and Jennie! I remember Ritu is in on this deal, too. For many, I’m sure it’s the first time they’ve ever received something in the mail. I still occasionally get a letter from one of my old students. (Yes, I still get excited.) You never know, but this might be the start of a beautiful friendship for someone.

    • Jennie says:

      You should have seen their wide eyes when I yelled (yes I yelled), “We got mail!”
      I opened the big envelope, read the letter, and then slowly went through every card. I know you understand how important and special it is. I feel the same way when I get mail. Ritu just got hers, it takes mail forever to cross the ocean.

  16. How fun for the kids! And they learn to say thank you (something so many of my relatives forget to do–thank us for gifts!

  17. Norah says:

    How gorgeously affirming and inspirational for young writers.

  18. How exciting to receive these lovely valentines from their pen pals!

  19. Dan Antion says:

    Good times and great lessons!

  20. Pen pals are lovely, Jennie. I used to write to a few friends during my childhood.

    • Jennie says:

      They are, Robbie. I’m glad you had pen pals, too. Today they are needed more than ever, because technology has nearly eliminated that handwritten personal touch. For children, pen pals build ‘real’ communicating with other children in the world. That’s a foundation for developing social and emotional skills, and much more.

  21. Isn’t it impressive how wonderful this vintage way of communication is? There is also no scam, and these hearts you can pin on the wall. 😉 xx Michael

    • Jennie says:

      I think about this all the time. In my heart, I know this is just what children need, for many reasons. You said it well, Michael. Thank you.

  22. Jim Borden says:

    what a wonderful idea! I am glad the children got so excited!

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