Thursday, 19 June 2014 00:00
On June 2, over 400 students gathered in the Island Trees High School gymnasium to share their love of literacy through the In2Books pen pal program, now in its fifth successful year.
This year, Mrs. Marks was once again joined by her enthusiastic colleagues Mrs. Link, Mrs. Mitchell, Mrs. Egert, Mrs. Reens, Mrs. Kane, and Mrs. Durando to offer the In2Books program to all of their third grade students at Stokes Elementary.
At the high school, Mrs. Christensen was joined by the equally enthusiastic Mrs. Chios, Mrs. Primrose, Mr. Kohl, and Mr. Wimmer and their outstanding high school juniors and seniors.
In2Books is designed to promote literacy and positive academic exchanges through shared reading and writing experiences. After students in both schools were paired up and assigned a shared novel, they began by introducing themselves and writing about their reactions and predictions about their reading through a letter exchange. This provided a wonderful communication opportunity for the high school students, as they had to write for an elementary audience and take into account their pen pals’ background knowledge, vocabulary, and experience.
For the much-awaited visit, the excited 3rd graders journeyed to the high school to meet their pen pals, share conversation and laughter, and enjoy one another’s company. To see the gym filled with chatting pen pals sharing a cool bottle of water and a tasty snack is to witness a wonderfully authentic learning experience. We would like to give a special thanks to Mr. Roemer’s art students who designed beautiful, welcoming signs for our visiting friends from Stokes Elementary School.
With some potential ideas planned for next year (including In2Books Post Cards and a possible high school visit to Stokes), the program will continue to thrive as a result of the hard work of our devoted staff here at Island Trees.
— Submitted by Elizabeth Roemer, Administrator for Educational Programs, Literacy, and Staff Development