THE ISA PEN-PAL PROGRAM
I am Laura De Grazia, ISA Project Coordinator and a dreamer.
The Pen pal project started years ago when I was just a 7-year-old kid when I made contact with my first two letter-writing friends I still remember, one from Sweden and the other from Indonesia. We actually met at 19 in England, and, very curiously, once mass media raised, we lost track of one another. Now, being part of ISA made me recapture that idea and wander how we could establish positive atmospheres using these amazing tools to reunite and take advantage of having so many kids willing to interact and make the UN goals possible, so I defined a topic per month that aligned the most important ISA dates to motivate interchange of ideas, cultures and perspectives that would also enhance other projects with a more global view.
The program was expected to gather about 300 students and, surprisingly, there are more than 1000 enrolled now! Due to this, our initial pen pal program became more of an e-pals program, creating an average of 45 rooms of around 15-20 students each, that put together similar-age students from all countries involved, what guarantees not only pairs to interact, but a group of them, making it even more enriching. There is so much engagement from students and teachers that we also created a room for teachers of all countries to interact, so as to ease the program a little, and engage them to propose other projects that they feel motivated about. Right now, we have the best feeling of this, and we hope everything turns out to be amazing for everybody.