The Learning Edge
Clonlara’s Pen Pal Program: An Excellent Activity for Our Post-Pandemic World
- June 25, 2020
- Posted by: Clonlara School
- Category: Learning Resources
By Shannon Germaine, Off-Campus Program Student
In these tough times, none of us can socialize the way we used to. That expensive concert you wanted to attend? Canceled. The big vacation you spent hours planning? Not going to happen. The party you invited all of your friends to is scratched off your to-do list. It’s even impossible to eat out at your favorite restaurant.
Creating Sense of Community
Schools and activities worldwide might be closed for an unknown amount of time because of COVID-19, but Clonlara still brings students together. We have our own Pen Pal Program that creates a sense of community, especially during this age of quarantine.
I’ve always enjoyed communicating with pen pals, which is why I signed up at the beginning of the 2019–20 school year. As a matter of fact, I already had a pen pal in Canada with whom I have been in touch since I was 8 years old. Hence, I was elated when I heard there was a Clonlara program. It is especially fun when both you and your pen pal attend Clonlara because you have that much more in common. With all of this new social distancing, I’m particularly glad to have more of a sense of community through the program.
Wondering how to get one? You can contact your Clonlara advisor and ask for the pen pal questionnaire. When I first joined Clonlara School’s Off-Campus Program, I checked the box asking if I wanted a pen pal. It was effortless and so worthwhile. Clonlara will match you with someone who has similar interests. You can put requests in the sign-up form, such as for age range or location. You can also correspond with your pen pal via e-mail at first, but you might choose to reach out in other ways down the road.
Making Friends Around the World
Clonlara matched me with a pen pal in France and one in Massachusetts. I like France a lot and want to go there someday because of the food, especially the cheeses (including my favorite, brie). Additionally, I want to see all of the architecture, such as the Eiffel Tower. In Plymouth, Massachusetts, whale watching is incredible and I love to visit, so I was thrilled to find out that I was assigned a pen pal there. I now regularly text my friend in Massachusetts and even did a Zoom call with her. It was fun seeing her for the first time. Most importantly, the fact that we both go to Clonlara provides a sense of camaraderie.
With the sense of community with your classmates, learning about their culture or where they live, and the stress-free sign up, Clonlara’s Pen Pal Program is an excellent activity, especially while we’re all social distancing!
About the Author: Shannon Germaine is a 14-year-old budding filmmaker, writer, and musician, also known by her YouTube channel, Nix The Norm, and website, NixTheNorm: One Kid’s Adventures on Planet Earth. She aims to incorporate music and fun into documentary and travel films that expand people’s horizons and inspire change in the world. She also enjoys singing, acting, playing guitar, writing, and learning Japanese.