Spanish classes share letters with pen pals


The classes met on Tuesday, May 13 from 12-2. They gathered at the amphitheater and got a tour around Clark.

Students in Anne Reinhard’s third year and Melissa O’Gara’s second year Spanish classes recently had the opportunity to write to a pen pal from Thomas Edison Elementary School. Pen pals came from the Foreign Language Academics of Glendale (FLAG) program and were of different grades.

O’Gara came up with the idea and Reinhard sent a note to FLAG coordinators at Edison. They were paired with random teachers just as their own classes were paired to students.

In their first letters, students had to give a physical description of themselves, ask at least five questions and share anything else about themselves. Many talked about their family, hobbies and school schedule. The Edison kids even drew pictures.


Before any letters were sent out, students wrote rough drafts. Their teacher then proofread them. Once the letters were finalized they were sent to the pen pals. Letters were graded, giving students more incentive to detail their messages.

Although classes were told that they were writing to a real person, some thought that it would only be seen by their teachers. Freshman Seiran Aleksanyan from O’Gara’s fourth period class said, “I thought it was pointless and something we shouldn’t do.” But once Aleksanyan got his reply, he realized that pen pal letters were more than work. “I think it’s a good experience,” said Aleksanyan. “We get to interact with kids from other grades and schools and see if we can relate.”

O’Gara and Reinhard plan to end this letter exchange with a meeting at Clark between pen pals. “After AP exams and testing is finished, we’ll have them come up and take a tour,” O’Gara said.