one letter at a time.
Who we are
American Pals is an intra-national pen pal project with a simple mission: to help young Americans
get to know their own country and fellow citizens better.
We pair middle and high school classrooms from different geographic and cultural environments across the United States for offline letter exchanges.
We aim to improve the conditions for healthy civic discourse by enabling direct and personal
communication between students with different
backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives.
How it works
BEFORE THE PROGRAM
Upon sign up, we will pair your classroom with a partner classroom from a geographically and culturally different part of the US. You’ll be introduced to each other and given a Welcome Kit to get started.
DURING THE PROGRAM
Introduce the program to your classroom and assign students to their pen pal. Brainstorm with students about what they know (or think they know) about the region of their pen pals. Discuss topics students want to write about and start exchanging letters.
AFTER THE PROGRAM
At the end of the year, revisit your original brainstorming list. Ask students if their perceptions about their partner region have changed. Try to "meet" your partner classroom - create a video chat or send a personalized video, it's up to you!
We provide you with all the tools you need to make the process of incorporating American Pals into your classroom as seamless as possible. Just download the tools provided in our Resources tab to help you get started.
“My students have loved receiving letters from their pen pals and learning about people whose lives are really different from their own while finding commonalities between them and their pals."
High School Teacher, Tennessee