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About Us


American Pals is an intra-national pen pal project with a simple goal: to enable students to get to know their own country and fellow citizens better.

We're not trying to turn back the clock to a pre-digital age. We're helping students rediscover a powerful form of communication and relationship-building different from what they’ve grown up with in the era of social media and texting.


American Pals provides a safe way for students to learn about people from areas very different from their own.


Daily life in the San Francisco Bay Area can look quite different from daily life in Evansville, Indiana, and we think it would be great if kids could learn about these differences and similarities directly from each other.

We may be more digitally "connected" with each other than ever, but sometimes it feels like we're living in separate worlds and don't know much about the experiences of people outside our own communities. We're committed to the belief that for all our differences, we have a lot in common, especially kids. The best way to get to know each other is by talking and listening - and not the kind of "talking" that often takes place online.

Why Letters?

Many kids raised in today's digital age have never written or received a handwritten letter. We think they should have the opportunity to experience this timeless form of communication.


Here are a couple reasons why:




"The Snapchat generation may produce more writing than any group of teenagers before it, writing copious text messages and social media posts, but when it comes to the formal writing expected at school and work, they struggle with the mechanics of simple sentences.” Why Kids Can’t Write (NY Times, August 2017).

Read more here.





Three-quarters of both 12th and 8th graders lack proficiency in writing, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress.


Learn about how letter-writing aligns with Common Core writing standards here.





Students are motivated to write when they have an authentic audience. Having a pen pal can inspire even the most reluctant of writers, providing an opportunity to practice writing skills in a way that feels more like fun than work.


Participating Schools

Some of the schools currently participating with American Pals:

“You never really understand a person
until you consider things from his point of view.”

- Atticus Finch

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