“Heroes Worth Writing For” Contest

Posted November 28, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Pentel of America celebrates National Handwriting Day with Heroes Worth Writing For, a new promotion in partnership with Operation Gratitude.

Pentel of America, a company in the writing instruments industry, encourages children to hand-write a letter to the U.S. troops between now and January 23, 2012.

The contest has a dual purpose:

1) to celebrate the importance of handwriting and self-expression

2) to recognize and express thanks to the U.S. troops who may serve in harm’s way

Children may send handwritten letters to:  Pentel of America, 4000 E. Airport Dr., Suite C, Ontario, CA 91761.  In honor of National Handwriting Day, only handwritten entries will be accepted. The Grand Prize is a $200 Visa Gift Card and $100 in Pentel products. Four runner-ups will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card and $25 in Pentel products. Official rules can be found at www.pentel.com.

Penpals and ePals

Posted May 26, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

When my mom was a child, she had several penpals.  I remember how she would tell me about them and how much she relished reading their letters and writing back and forth to her friends.  How exciting it was for a letter addressed to her with a stamp from a faraway country to arrive in her mailbox!

Today young people still enjoy sharing their lives and learning about other cultures through penpals.   Schools use services that connect students from classrooms all over the globe. Children practice reading and writing in a foreign language, work on literacy skills, and learn about other cultures.

Although the content of penpal letters may be similar to what it was when my mom was a girl, the method of communicating is shifting.  In the Peanuts comic strip, Charile Brown has a “pencil-pal.”  In 2011 children are more likely to have an e-pal, since many of them correspond instantly via email with friends around the world.

Have you ever connected with someone in another part of the world through a penpal or e-pal relationship?  What did you learn?

by Marcia Chamberlain, WITS writer