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As a follow-up to a Pen Pal Project with a South Korean school from last year, Genet Elementary School and the English as a New Language Department hosted a South Korean Pen Pal Cultural Evening on May 24 in the Genet Auditorium.

The event welcomed back Genet 5th grade students from last year who participated in the Pen Pal Project and included special guest speakers and a video produced by the South Korean students.

As part of the Pen Pal Project from last year, students from Genet and an elementary school in Daejeon, South Korea were paired up and exchanged letters in English throughout the school year. The students got to know each other by writing about their favorite activities, animals and books and sharing drawings, stickers and Pokemon cards in the letters.

“I really enjoyed learning about another country and getting to know a student my age from that country,” said James Sweeney, who is now a 6th grader at Goff Middle School.

The project was enhanced by Genet students studying Korean music, art and language in special area classes. They also conducted research projects on the topics of their choice to learn more about South Korea.

During the event last week, Genet students, teachers and families watched a video that the South Korean students produced. The South Korean students introduced themselves in English and then provided a tour of their school. The video illustrated many similarities to an American school experience, such as classrooms with desks and chairs, a gym for Physical Education class, and a cafeteria where they eat lunch. However, there were some interesting differences. For example, when students go to the nurses office in South Korea, they remove their shoes just like they would when entering a home. And most of the students walk to their school.

“The evening was a great opportunity to virtually tour a South Korean elementary school, and learn a bit about Korean culture – all while celebrating the successful exchange of ideas and interests between students,” said Genet ENL Teacher Jennifer Carraher.