Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Letter Writing Project Benefits Students and Chicago Organization

To me, one of the fun and wondrous things about life -- and the internet -- is how one thing leads to another and another and before long you have learned something new and fascinating.

I started out researching a story about letter writing. I came across an article on the Chicago Reader website about two Chicago school classes that wrote letters to each other. The story not only detailed how the students got to know their letter-writing partners, but it also explained that the project culminated in the publishing of a book featuring some of their letters.

As I looked up more information about the book, I discovered 826CHI, a nonprofit organization that provides free writing and tutoring programs for Chicago students. Not only does the organization have workshops, field trips and in-school projects, it also has a publishing department that prints and binds students' works into books that are sold at The Secret Agent Supply Co., a shop in Chicago that benefits 826CHI.

The letter-related book is titled "P.S. You Sound Like Someone I Can Trust," a line taken directly from one student's letter. You can order the book online at The Secret Agent Supply Co.  

You can read more about 826CHI and all of their programs, including a gallery of student writing, at the organization's website.

And, you can read the entire article about the letter writing project on the Chicago Reader.

According to the article, each year 826CHI has a unique project, so this letter writing program was a one-time event. But, that's not to stop anyone else from creating a similar program between two school classes. Such a project could teach handwriting, business skills, writing/English skills, as well as the basics of how to write and mail a letter, and much more, I'm sure. It could be done with or without the book. But, if a group wanted to publish a book of their letters, a quick print or print-on-demand service could handle it inexpensively.

I certainly hope the idea spreads and more and more young people learn the joys of letter writing!

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