A key characteristic of Dana Hills High School is its many student-founded and run clubs, nearly 30 to be exact. Each school year, students have the opportunity to found new clubs and join returning clubs. During this abnormal school year, sophomores Sophie Anderson and Lexi Chernekoff emerged with a new club, the International Pen Pal Society.
Anderson and Chernekoff hope that through their writing, both students can improve their language skills and build friendships with people from different cultures
The purpose of the club is to create connections between students at Dana and students in French and Spanish speaking countries by becoming pen-pals. Anderson and Chernekoff hope that through their writing, both students can improve their language skills and build friendships with people from different cultures. Both girls are “passionate about learning foreign languages and international relations.” Anderson has even hosted multiple exchange students from Switzerland, Norway and Finland, allowing her to “see the benefits of being able to have connections around the globe.” The co-founders claim that “having a foreign pen-pal gives [their] students a real life application for language learning more than just passing a class and hopefully inspires them to continue practicing the language even after high school.”
So far this school year, the International Pen Pal Society has already connected with a high school in France as well as multiple Spanish-speaking students who have also had a desire to participate. While the girls expressed that those connections took longer to establish than they had hoped, they are enthusiastic to be “receiving responses to [their] questionnaire from all of these students so [they] can match them soon.” Throughout these uncertain times due to COVID-19, the co-presidents explained how much of a challenge and learning experience it has been to found this club. “[They] have had to learn to accept when things don’t exactly go as fast as [they] want them to” and that it may require extra patience than usual. However, they “have made progress in at least finding people who want to participate,” and that in itself is a major accomplishment.
Make sure to follow @DHHSInternationalPenPalSociety on instagram to stay informed on the club’s meetings and events!
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