Leal MS students explores Japanese culture through letters

As part of a unique project, Leal MS eight grade students in social studies Pre-Ap pen letters to middle school students in Japan.

Leal MS Social Studies Department Chair Maria Reinaas coordinated the pen pal project with her niece Veronica Perez who is teaching English in Japan to middle school students who have to take an English placement test for high school.

“The students have to pass a writing and oral assessment and the pen pal program gives them an opportunity to write in English and to make a friend across the world,” Reinaas said.

Perez and her mentor made a trip to Leal MS to personally thank the administration and students for participating in the project.

All of the eight grade social studies Pre-Ap students and campus administration packed the library to welcome the guests.

After Perez gave a brief introduction, a mariachi group composed of Leal MS teachers gave a special performance. Students in the mariachi program also joined in to give the visitors a taste of Hispanic culture.

Afterward, Perez gave the students a full presentation about the geographic region and culture of Japan.

Reinaas noted that the students have learned a lot about culture in Japan through the letters and that it’s a great way to get the students engaged.

“The kids absolutely love it, a whole bunch of them don’t really

get to talk to people outside the city or outside of the state, so having a friend outside of the country was just beyond them,” Reinaas said. “They are excited to actually write and to send things over.” 
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