Key Pal Program

The grade 5 KeyPal Program is an electronic pen pal program in which all fifth graders from the Kennedy-Longfellow Elementary School will be paired with employees from Draper Laboratory, IBM, and MIT for electronic communication via e-mail. The program provides adult role models, fosters the improvement of writing and computer skills, and increases career awareness through one-on-one virtual mentoring and face-to-face visits in the workplace and at the school. The program will be coordinated by Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) and Kennedy-Longfellow School staff members.

Guided by classroom teachers, KeyPals will act as a responsive audience for several assignments from English Language Arts and science disciplines, thereby helping students to focus on task completion, content, and the mechanics of writing. While the KeyPal relationship will always be focused on a specific project as designated by the teacher in advance, KeyPals will also find that a friendly, mentor relationship will develop through their correspondence. A biography poem will focus in part on the adult mentor's work and career path. Other projects will include a historical fiction bookshare activity in which students and adults read the same books. Students may also share writing about their science curriculum in the spring.