LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Delta Academy Charter School’s pen pal program has been connecting its students in Las Vegas with students from Vietnam who attend Ivy Global school.
The idea came to Superintendent Dr. Kyle Konold, who works alongside the Florida-based Ivy Global.
“I worked with the teachers here at Delta, and the teachers over at Ivy Global school to connect the U.S. students with students from Vietnam,” Konold said.
The program matches students based on their grade and interests, but unlike pen pal programs where you would send letters to each other, this one is much faster.
“It's not like the traditional pen pal program. I don't know if anybody, but grandma and grandpa, write letters anymore and send them via the regular mail,” Konold said. “It's instant gratification for the students, which they're used to.”
Communications are normally conducted through the school, but that’s not the only way students communicate.
“[The program] also allows students from both countries to use the various social media that each partner has. They can look at their Facebook page or Twitter account, whatever,” he said.
Sebaztian Mireles, a sixth grade student, was introduced to the program by his teacher and has learned a few things from his pen pal.
“We've talked about our sports here and there,” Mireles said. “I realized that they don't have as much slang as we do. Some of our shops here like Walmart and Target they don't have out there.”
Fourteen hours ahead in Vietnam, Duc Thanh has connected with Mireles through Ivy Global, and the two have built a friendship over the course of the program.
“It's very fun to have a pen pal from across the world because I get to learn more about his country, his country's culture and make such a good friend,” Thanh said.
Friendships aside, Konold said there is more to this program than just chatting it up with students on the other side of the world.
“We're hoping that this experience will develop a student's understanding that just because people look different or talk different, that once you get to know them, they're probably more similar than different from you,” Konold said.