October 27, 2014
Arizona BookPALS is implementing the PencilPALS writing program with 100 students in Arizona. Intel has provided a grant to support the program and 25 volunteers to write to students at Mountain View Elementary School. Other BookPALS volunteers fill out the PencilPALS writing corps. PencilPALS is integrated into the curriculum by the devoted teachers. Students’ writing skills improve markedly through the year.
Many PencilPALS volunteers came in to help the students complete their interest questionnaires which are then shared with their writing partner.
Karen O’Keefe, school PencilPALS Coordinator, used a Harry Potter sorting hat and matched each student with his or her adult PencilPAL based on common interests. Children look forward to this “sorting ceremony”.
Each volunteer who helped in the classroom received a lovely goody bag from Ms. O’Keefe.
Teachers brainstormed with the children to come up with this chart of subjects they could include in their letters.