A lost art is a literacy tool

May 11, 2011

Do you still write letters? You know, stationary with envelopes and stamps.

I’ve found that there is little call these days for me to write. It’s all type and click

Yet for the past seven years, I get out pen and paper once a month and write a letter to my pen pal.

It’s a program we established at Amway years ago for busy employees who want to volunteer, but didn’t have time to leave their desks every week to participate in inner-city mentoriing programs. So we exchange letters monthly, and hold an ice cream social at the schools once each year so we can meet our pen pals face-to-face.

I received the last letter of the school year today. My fourth-grade pal colored me a picture and was interested to hear about the book I had been reading (The Diary of Anne Frank).

As I look back at his letters, I can note improvements in spelling, longer sentences and better use of punctuation.

There is still a long way to go, but it is easy to see that this small act – one I look forward to every month – does make a difference.

Pen pals meet for the first time at this year’s ice cream social

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