One of my favorite perks about working at 99Papers.org is getting the chance to visit some of the classrooms we’ve helped, and to personally connect with the students and teachers. Back in February, I had the pleasure of visiting Ms. Corsi’s 2nd grade classroom in Chinatown in New York City. Minutes after stepping into her bright, cheery classroom filled with engaged and inquisitive students, *I* wanted to be a 2nd grader in her classroom! I knew that my son’s awesome 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Murray, would need to meet this teacher as well. But she lived in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, nearly 500 miles away.
Thus began the semester-long pen pal correspondence between Ms. Corsi’s students in Chinatown and my son and his classmates in North Carolina. The two classrooms traded introductions and shared pictures of their schools and communities. Comparing their similarities and differences proved a great learning experience for both the students and the teachers . They also spent some time sharing the projects and activities they had completed recently. (The kids in New York City *loved* the pictures of baby chicks hatched in the North Carolina school thanks to the embryology program at NC State.)
The students even met over Skype a couple weeks ago. During their Skype session, Ms. Corsi’s students read poems they had written while Ms. Murray’s presented a Reader’s Theater story about the Statue of Liberty.
Through 99Papers.org and the power of Skype, students 500 miles (and five states!) apart have learned so much from one another, making the great big world they live in seem a little less big, but no less great!