In a day when mailboxes are virtual and most mail is of the junk type, it is sweetly satisfying to receive a real letter.
That is what students at Harlan-Butlerville Primary School are learning thanks to an in-school pen pal program. First and second grade students -- who will more than likely grow up to do all of their communication electronically -- recently received their first actual letters in the mail.
Ann Marie Klein, Little Miami literacy coach, created the letter writing initiative to continue to develop students' writing skills. First grade students were matched up with second grade students as pen pals. Each teacher began by teaching mini-lessons on different aspects of letter writing, then each student was assigned an official address and letters were written and "mailed" internally.
Each second grade class will take turns acting as postmasters and will sort, deliver, cancel or return each class's letters. Mailboxes were placed outside each classroom and a main mailbox was placed outside the main office.
Principal Maryann Duffy said the students' reactions have been fun to watch.
"Students were excited to receive a piece of mail. Our goal is to introduce students to their pen pals after the letter writing campaign is over," she said.