Sixth graders get history lesson from senior citizen pen-pals - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Sixth graders get history lesson from senior citizen pen-pals

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of sixth graders is learning lessons both inside and outside the classroom.  For the past few months the students from the Nettleton Intermediate Center have become "pen-pals" with a group of senior citizens. 

"They're fun to talk to and they're nice," said 6th grader Nate Klein.

Each of these students writes to a couple of senior "pen pals."

"They have developed relationships with them," said teachers Cheryl Russell.

"We talk about what we're doing in class and what they've been through when they were kids," said Klein.

Russell said it is important for students to learn history first-hand.

"They went to the World Series in 1967, and they saw the Cardinals win which is pretty cool because the Cardinals are my favorite baseball team," said Klein.

"Anytime you experience it or someone tells you they've experienced something you hear it and you retain it and you remember it," said Russell.

"I think it's marvelous and been totally surprised at the broad range of books and interests they have," said resident Elizabeth Mitchell.

As part of the project, Russell said the kids are reading books and writing about what they've read in their letters to their pen pals.  They're also learning about things you don't really learn about in school.    

"It makes it more interesting because we don't get to do this stuff like in the 5th grade or the 4th grade and we get to have fun and meet new people," said Klein.

"These kids aren't going to realize how valuable senior citizens are unless we teach them that," said Russell.

More importantly, both sets of "pen pals" are learning from each other.

"I found out that the young man who is my pen pal and I have a lot of things in common," said Russell.

The two groups have now met in person twice and plan to meet once more before the end of the year.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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