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Omaha teachers with a single goal, to build bridges between their schools

OMAHA, Nebraska  — For National Hispanic Heritage Month, two Spanish language teachers in Omaha are using snail mail to construct a connection between their respective schools.

Amanda Pritchard and Alli Fox are longtime friends. They are college mates who become teachers. Fox teaches Spanish speakers at Spring Lake Magnet while Pritchard teaches AP Spanish at Marian High School. Pritchard desired to discover a technique to teach greater conversational skills.

Alli Fox stated, “As a teacher, you are always looking for methods to excite your pupils, particularly in writing, which is not typically their favorite subject.”

Both wanted to find a means to unite these universes, and they felt exchanging letters would be a creative approach.

“Everything in a language clicks or sinks in or becomes more meaningful when another person is engaged – when you’re immersed in it or know someone by name,” said Pritchard.

Once per month, students from Spring Lake and Marian are matched as pen pals. They correspond in Spanish and share information about themselves and their interests.

The tone of the letters may vary from severe to charming.

Elizabeth Foreman, a senior at Marian College, remarked, “On the second letter from my pen buddy, he sent me a photo of his dog, and she was so adorable and awesome, she was so sweet.”

Zoe Hofsommer and Diego are Spanish-speaking pupils at Spring Lake Magnet who also speak the language at home. Both parties are delighted to recover the lost art of letter writing.

Zoe Hofsommer remarked, “It helps me write in Spanish better, so I know more Spanish terms.”

Diego stated, “You must write it with a pencil to make it enjoyable.”

Pritchard and Fox are appreciative that their pupils have the opportunity to broaden their perspectives on the world.

Foreman claims she had no prior experience in South Omaha.

“Seeing both languages around, being multilingual is entirely natural, which I find so cool because I am not a heritage speaker,” Foreman added.

“We did not believe that these two distinct sectors of the Omaha community would ever interact. They have vastly distinct life experiences “Fox stated.

It demonstrates that the lessons will have an impact beyond the classroom.

“When it comes to initiating a discussion, I do not believe that age, language, or anything else should be a barrier. You never know what someone could teach you “Marian senior Regina Anyaegbunam said.

The program’s history spans six years. Additionally, the students will meet in person to hone their conversational skills.

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