The drive is merely across town, but for Loveland Elementary School (LES) students, Loveland High School (LHS) might as well be a world away.
“They really look up to the older students,” said Sandy Geiger, LES third-grade teacher. “They knew they were traveling to the ‘big school’ and you could just sense their excitement. The bus was buzzing with energy!”
For this group of elementary students, it was a September writing assignment that prompted the Thursday, Jan. 24, excursion; Geiger teamed up with fellow LES teacher Timmiera Lawrence – who established the Pen Pal project with LHS Teacher Jan Nye five years prior. The project is an ongoing letter exchange between the third graders and LHS National Honor Society students.
“Every year the students would write back and forth to one another throughout the year,” said Lawrence. “They would exchange photos and fun information about themselves. My third graders just couldn’t wait to get the letters; it was the highlight of the day when they would arrive in my class mail!”
In all of the past Pen Pal projects, the LHS students made the voyage to LES for a face-to-face meeting; this year was the first year the younger students traveled to the high school.
“Total success,” said Jennifer Forren, LES principal. “I was so impressed with the way the National Honor Society students interacted with our children; they were at ease and engaged – it was such an upbeat experience for all involved.”
“They talked, they laughed and they had such a fun time together,” said Geiger. “I know this is a meeting our students will long remember, and this is a writing project that will have a lasting, positive impact.”
Photo caption: LES third grader Caden Knabe eats lunch with LHS National Honor Society senior John Despotakis; also pictured, LES third grader Charlie Limmer and LHS senior Joe-Willie Frees