In an effort to make new friends, Minnesota second graders have pen pals in Puerto Rico.
Students at Madison Elementary have developed some friendships with fellow second graders in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The students send letters back and forth several times a year, and sometimes send small gifts made by students or pictures of children enjoying the Minnesota seasons.
“Puerto Rico has always had a special place in my heart because as a child I lived there in the ’60s for three years,” said teacher Kari Johnsrud. “The school that we write to is actually part of a school that I went to.”
Johnsrud traveled to Puerto Rico and contacted the principal at Ramey School, which has two second grade sections like Madison. She wanted to see if any teachers were interested in a pen pal program. Aileen Rivera was interested, and Johnsrud has visited Rivera’s classroom in Aguadilla.
“My teaching partner down there said, ‘Different setting, same technique,’” Johnsrud said with a laugh. “Second graders are pretty universal as far as what they do.”