By: Annie Grace Plott
North Henderson has recently decided to become involved in a pen-pal program with Oakland International High School. This California High School’s entire student body is made up of immigrant students from a multitude of different countries. Many of these students have found it especially hard to deal with the results of the United States’ most recent election, so a pen-pal program was created to allow for students to understand and learn more about one another.
The originators of the pen-pal program wanted to connect Oakland High School with students whom live in a red state, which makes North a perfect candidate. The purpose of this program will be for students on both sides to talk about the election results and emphasis on how this past election might affect themselves. However, the hope is that eventually students will move on from politics and create friendships that will allow for them to learn more about other cultures and people. Teacher collaborators on this project are also wishing that the program will eventually move on from paper and pen writing, to email, and maybe even Skype to let students have face-to-face conversations.
Many of the students at Oakland know limited English, so Spanish speakers are encouraged to join since 70% of the school’s student body speaks Spanish. Oakland also has has students that speak French, Arabic, Karen, and Dari/Farsi. Although, you do not have to know one of these languages to join the program. The school’s English teachers will help those who do not speak the same language.
Currently, North is looking to fill 120 spots for this program and sadly not many have been filled. If you would like to be apart of a program that will allow for you to learn about other countries, cultures, and people then stop by Mrs. Alessi’s room or visit the school’s website to sign up for a pen-pal.