Hi Everyone!

My name is Carl and I have joined this fantastic forum to tell you about a project I am in the process of creating to help educate and inspire children. I am looking for parents who think their children would enjoy and benefit from the exciting prospect of having an international penpal.

Ok, so for anyone reading this, you are currently connected to the internet. An amazing, life changing piece of technology that has completely revolutionized the way we do things. Now cast your minds back to the world before internet, emails and social networking. Go on, humor me for a moment

If we wanted to write to somebody we used the age old method of a pen and paper. Remember?! I´m not making it up!

There is something more personal, more exciting and more thoughtful when you send or receive a letter in the post. I think it’s true to say that we all enjoy receiving a letter; it makes a refreshing change from a bill no?!

I think it is extremely important to preserve the art of handwritten post and to do as much as we can to encourage our children to write letters. It is a fantastic way for them to practice and develop their grammar, reading and writing skills as well as calling upon them to use their imagination.

My Project.

Today we live in a world that is technology based, exciting and rapidly changing. I believe that educating our children about this diverse and multicultural planet should start at a young age. I feel that teaching children as early as possible about the many different cultures, religions and races of people can open their minds and help them to be more tolerant of people different to themselves. I think it is extremely important in the fight against racism and all other types of prejudices that unfortunately still occur.

I am calling out to parents with children from all different countries, cultures and backgrounds to become part of a safe and secure environment for your children to connect, learn and share something about their lives with each other. It is an opportunity for your child to become penpals with another child of the same age but with an entirely different background and culture. They can learn about the differences in each of their countries and ask questions about things that are interesting and important to them.

Some of the benefits of your child having a foreign penpal:

- It teaches children that we are all different
- It educates children to the many different cultures in our world
- Your child can learn about a different country
- Excellent practice of English and grammar skills
- Much more engaging than sitting in front of a computer screen
- The beginning of a friendship that could last many years
- It can encourage your child to visit different countries and learn new languages
- Raises social awareness
- Teaches responsibility by writing and replying in a timely manner

I am currently in the development stage of this exciting project but would like some feedback from you as parents. During my research I have seen that there are a number of penpal websites but these are either aimed at adults or are for corresponding via email only. I want to preserve the art of the handwritten letter as I feel it offers much more in the way of education and imagination for a child. They have their whole lives to sit in front of an inbox answering emails, why not inspire them to actually write some letters first?

The most important thing here is the safety and security of your children. You as parents remain in control of who your child writes to and receives letters from. To become a member of the penpal kids club, we will need each and every parent to become a member and agree to the terms and conditions of our website. We will have filter options so that you can choose a boy or a girl for your son or daughter to write to and we only allow penpals of similar ages. We will also have a tool for the parents of penpals to contact each other prior to or once the penpal friendship has started, should it be necessary.

If you would like more information, have questions or are interested for you and your child to become part of my project to encourage tolerance of cultural differences to promote a future where we are not bound by the ties of racism or prejudice – please contact me. This is a fun and educational learning opportunity for your children and costs almost nothing.

To make this work I need the ideas and input from you as parents – and a whole bunch of children who want to make new friends from other countries and backgrounds!

My email address is carlradley@zoho.com or you can reply to this thread – in fact I would love an open discussion here with as many people involved as possible!

I really hope that I am not in violation of any forum rules by postings this or my email address. If this is against the rules please let me know and I will edit this post straight. I am not here to spam, upset or annoy anyone.