My students exchange letters with the students in Uganda starting every September (since 2012).
I’ve had different groups matched with that school from a Pre-Ap Social studies class, advisory class, and Humanities class, but all had the same experiences.
My students benefit from not only learning about another country and it’s people, but by experiencing kindness towards strangers, and how to always look for the positive in any situation. My students learn empathy for others through this experience. They’ve realized that even though their lives may not be ideal, they are better off than many of these children they write letters to.
The first time everyone receives their first letter, the classroom is far from quiet. Lots of chatter fills the room while the letters are shared, connections are made, and friendships are formed. Questions are answered and asked, sometimes more than once, but we all learn things about the other side of the world that we didn’t know before. One the days that “We Have Mail”, I know that nothing else will be accomplished until my students read their letters. It’s just such a special relationship. I’m glad I’ve been able to provide that not only to my students, but that I also get to share it with the students in Uganda.
The students in my current Humanities class write letters with the Ugandan students about every two weeks while school is in session. Currently the Ugandan school is out for their summer break. They will return at the beginning of February 2019. Once they return to school, letters will resume.