Kids for Kids is dedicated to creating opportunities for children in schools throughout the New York metropolitan area to develop cross cultural, learning friendships with children in other parts of the United States and the world. We have already developed contacts in several countries in Africa and South America. In 2017 we are looking forward to making new friends in China and India. While our curriculum is carefully structured, it has been designed to be sufficiently flexible to work with the resources and respond to the needs of each of the participating schools. The main ingredient in a successful relationship is that the schools must make a firm commitment to the process.
Depending on the ages of children, time zones and internet capabilities, Imagine designs an appropriate curriculum for a Pen Pal Program (PPP) between two schools. The program we use is for 3-5 year olds. Some of the curriculums include monthly Skypes, however, the program is still valuable and works well for schools without internet. Participants develop relationships through email, letters and pictures and snail mail. All classrooms participate in authoring a book About Us. The books tell the story of the children, their classrooms, homes and families. Each book is shared with the "sister" program. The books remain as a gift to each group.
While we have a developed curriculum, anything can happen. Learning old songs in new languages, erratic internet connections and waiting months for letters to arrive are all learning experiences. Through the program and ongoing relationships, the children see first hand how other children live outside their neighborhoods and sometimes, outside their country. New languages and customs are learned. Thoughts about life and the world are shared. Some schools have books groups and read a book "together" and then have discussions. The program exposes children, through friendships, to the exciting and interesting similarities and differences that people of the world share. It is amazing how connected the children become.
"I think that it is pretty awesome that today at pre-school, Reed's class was skyping with kids in Kenya and learning how to say hi to them in their native language. It is an amazing world that my 3 year old child can speak to someone across the globe without any difficulty, and it is an amazing school to facilitate this and make it happen."
SUPPORTING OTHERS TO SET UP PEN PAL PROGRAMS:
We know that developing a PPP can be difficult. Each relationship will vary. Understanding the issues is the beginning of developing the relationship, of learning and finding success in the program. We are happy to work with schools and teachers to identify pen pals here in the United States or abroad. We are happy to share our curriculum, help develop a FUN-raising program and support the ongoing relationship between the schools.
If you would like more information about Imagine's Kids for Kids curriculum or setting up a PPP or if you would like to contribute to our Teacher Fund please follow the link to Contact. 100% of the funds raised go directly to benefit the children.