A Southern Style….Pen Pal Program…

The ever popular Pen Pal Program, officially known as the Student Information Exchange Program, is ramping up to take off again and is set to soar to new heights in popularity and excitement. The Pen Pal Program provides wonderful opportunities for kids to learn from each other and become friends.

Stephanie Hoeft and Brandy Wheeler, both Pasco, Washington elementary school teachers and “Friends of Copey”, initiated this program last year as a pilot project by engaging several 5th grade students in a letter writing exercise with several students at the Learning Center. This time around, 5th grade students in Virginia will exchange letters with students at the Learning Center. It is expected the students will use music, Skype, U-Tube, and other media forms to build their relationships.

This Pen Pal Program will be led by Lisa Baldwin, a very strong supporter of the “Friends of Copey”. Lisa is currently teaching 5th grade at High Point Elementary School in Bristol, Virginia and just missed being honored as Teacher of the Year in 2013. Prior to moving to Virginia, she received Teacher of the Year honors in North Carolina. Among her many educational accomplishments, she has recorded children’s educational CDs. She developed the musical program, Music, Minds, and Motion (www.musicmindsandmotion.com) and takes this program into childcare centers, senior centers, libraries, and schools. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University and has been a classroom teacher for over 30 years. Soon Lisa will be performing for the Watauga Public Library in Boone, North Carolina at their Summer Reading Program and will be providing music classes for Summer Scholars at Emory & Henry College in Virginia in June.

There is more….! Lisa and her husband, Dave Haney, are a multi-talented team of educators and musical performers. She and Dave (www.baldwinhaney.com) are very well known traditional folk, bluegrass, and country music artists and are popular songwriters as well. More recently, they have traveled and played extensively throughout the south and are enjoying a great deal of musical success. Dave is currently the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Emory & Henry College. Providing great musical entertainment is what they do when they are not heavily involved in education.

We are blessed and honored to add Lisa and Dave to the growing list of “Friends of Copey”. We believe the students at the Learning Center will really enjoy some Southern style hospitality and  getting to know Lisa and her class. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Pen Pal Program.

Other great news!!! The list of “Friends of Copey continues to grow. During April and May, more than twenty new followers have been added to my list. Based on my Mother’s Day Post, there are quite a number of you staying in touch. By the way, thanks to those who sent me a special note regarding the Post.

Earlier, the AGB Scholarship donors were informed of the students receiving a scholarship to attend the Learning Center. I am now sending out photos of the recipients to each donor. We are receiving very positive progress reports for all of the students. Thank you staff.

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