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Meet Your Penpal Day at Trent University

Trent students and their school children penpals do the Hokey Pokey on the athletics fieldA giant scavenger hunt at Trent University Friday brought together more than 700 children in Grades 1 to 3 and their Trent student penpals.

Meet Your Penpal Day kicked off with the penpals forming a large circle on the new athletics field. The group did the Hokey Pokey and sang songs before heading out on their scavenger hunt around campus.

The Trent Penpal Program partners under graduate students and B.Ed. candidates with primary students in local schools. The Trent students support the pupils' literacy development through meaningful letter writing.

"Strong relationships grow very quickly and the children take strong ownership of their older penpals, young adults who give them undivided attention and unconditional acceptance and support," says Deborah Berrill, Director of the School of Education and Professional Learning.

"Classroom teachers involved in the penpal program tell us repeatedly that this kind of individual attention prompts very strong motivation and commitment for all children, and particularly for those whom reading and writing are difficult."

This year the Trent Penpal Program has grown to involve a record number 18 classrooms, up from 16 last year. The Trent students and school children write to each other every three to four weeks.

Sarah Willie, a fourth-year student at Trent, is the Senior Program Coordinator while Jesse Corriveau, a third-year student is the Junior Program Coordinator. There are also 18 undergraduate students who serve as classroom coordinators.

Photo 1: Trent student Stephanie Burns leads the penpals in the Hokey Pokey.

Photo 2: The penpals gathered in a giant circle on the new athletics field before heading off on their scavenger hunt.

Posted September 30, 2005





































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