We offer to connect kids ages 9 – 14 with other kids in order to help them experience the joy of writing and connecting through writing. We find that for kids at this age, it can be useful to express feelings and process experiences through writing and drawing, and to know that this will be viewed by someone who is interested in learning about them. We have found that being able to write in english with another english-speaking kid can be a powerful way of building their identity in Switzerland.
There are some guidelines we follow:
-Kids will be matched based on our identification of their compatibility. All participants are known to us and screened by us.
-Each child will be provided with the mailing address of the other (alternatively, letters can be left and received at our office). They are responsible for postage.
-While they are active in the club, the children will not exchange contact information outside of mailing address (no texting or phone calls)
-Kids can withdraw from the program at any time by sending us an email
-Parent consent is given before the child can participate in the club
-We can be contacted anytime in the case there is ever an issue that the child would like help to resolve, or any concern about their pen pal, and we will actively monitor and check in with club members to see how their interactions are going
-To kick off the experience, kids will receive a letter welcoming them to the Pen Pal club and offering some ideas of topics to write about. It will also outline the guidelines.