Newspaper Student Begins Pen Pal Program


Jack Shupe, Staff Writer

Summer is a hard time for many high schoolers who aren’t able to see friends, and with  the quarantine, that desire for friendship can become compounded. Hence, the creation of the Pen Pal Program.


I created the program in order to make a bridge between different groups of people that would otherwise never talk to each other. The idea came to me when I was writing about the importance of staying connected with people by utilizing writing, and I began to think about how writing can unite anybody, even people who have never met.


The Pen Pal Program’s overall goal is to connect people, whether it be students from different high schools or students that attend the same high school but have different interests or are in different grades.


The Pen Pal Program, which is currently being run through email and the popular social networking app Instagram, pairs students up once they have signed up through the Google Form. The students are given each other’s email addresses, and can communicate for however long they wish, at whatever frequency is best for them.


Leilani Pearson, a freshman at First Colonial High School, joined the program in the first wave, along with Kanaan Talley, a sophomore at Kempsville High School.


“I would describe [it] as an amazing way to meet new people throughout the VBCPS school system,” Pearson said. “This was a positive experience and I enjoyed the program.”


“[The Pen Pal Program] was a bit nerve wracking at first,” said Talley. “I would describe it as a chat room, but you actually get to know these people.” Talley explains that his experience was neutral, since his Pen Pal did not respond often.


The program is still limited in its abilities, due to the relatively small number of participants, but I see a big future for the Pen Pal Program. You can sign up for the second rotation of the program here, or by messaging @khsthetreaty on Instagram.