Spanish students at Lincoln-Way North High School are putting their language skills to the test by exchanging letters with children in Honduras.
“Students are much more motivated to write a real letter to a real person,” said Spanish teacher Linda Egnatz who initiated the letter exchange with the help of a Lincoln-Way grad who enjoys traveling to Honduras to work with underprivileged children.
Sarah Slavick, who graduated from Lincoln-Way North in 2011, is planning her third trip to Honduras in January to work with ProNino USA, a program that seeks to rescue boys that live on the street.
During her trips to Honduras, Sarah volunteers at ProNino’s rehabilitation center, which provides physical, emotional, educational and spiritual services to children who have been left to live on the streets and fend for themselves.
In October, when Sarah made her last trip to Honduras, she delivered nearly 100 letters that the Lincoln-Way North students wrote in Spanish to the boys at ProNino.
“Each child got one to two letters,” said Egnatz. “Some of the kids included a photo, gum or candy – which was the highlight.”
In addition to writing letters, the Lincoln-Way North students sent a collection of school supplies that they donated to ProNino.
They saw photographs of the children enjoying their letters and school supplies when Sarah returned to the United States later that month. She stopped by Lincoln-Way North to share a PowerPoint presentation about ProNino and to deliver a collection of letters that the Honduran children wrote back to their new pen pals at North.
“They were so excited to share their letters with their class,” said Egnatz. “Making these broader global community connections is what 21st century learning is all about.”
Students plan to send a new batch of letters to Honduras when Sarah returns to ProNino in January.