Homerooms write to secret pen pals

Valerie Ferretti, Staff Writer

As part of a plan to connect students from different grades, eighth-graders will exchange letters in homeroom  all year with unknown sources in 10th grade.

“The 10th grade homerooms are writing letters to their eighth-grade pen pals using code names,” sophomore homeroom teacher Jennifer Walker said. “The purpose is to make new friends and possibly serve as mentors for younger students.”

Each letter written has to address the prompt for that week. Themes include  respect, leadership and friendship.

“It may give insight to some of the students as far as what they look for in a good friend, or who in their lives is a leader and why, or the ways they try to show others respect,” eighth-grade homeroom team leader Gabrielle Powers said.

The purpose of the letters extends beyond just “connecting with peers.”  English teachers hope the exercises will also improve their students’ writing skills.

“They can see when they get a letter from their own pen pal, and it isn’t very clear because it’s all jumbled around,” Powers said. “They will probably notice how difficult it is to follow, or reply to.”

Sophomore Talin Handa expressed an enthusiasm to pass their knowledge down to lower grades.

“I want to tell the eighth-graders how to survive in middle school,” Handa said. “I want to teach the younger kids about succeeding.”

The pen pals won’t find out who their partner is until the end of the year, which eighth-grader Daishi P. finds troublesome.

“I really want to know who my person is so I can see what they look like,” Daishi said.

Although each mentor is a “secret”, eighth-grader Alyssa F.  said she’s excited by the unknown.

“I think it’s gonna be fun,” Alyssa said. “I can’t wait to get to know someone new.”

Editor’s note: Brevard Public Schools policy prohibits the inclusion of names for middle-schoolers on district web sites.