Papillion kids stay connected as virtual pen pals during pandemic

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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) -- By now you know thousands of kids are home from school because of the coronavirus outbreak.

And while they’re physically out of the classroom, two Papillion moms came up with a way to keep the learning going and stay in touch with friends.

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6 news’ Emily Dwire tells us more about their “virtual pen pal” creation.

On a typical Friday morning, Jordan Edison and Jennifer South would take their kids to school and head off to work.

But this Friday morning, Blaine, Beau and Charlotte are gathered around Edison’s dining room table reading and writing virtual pen pal letters.

Jordan: “We thought what a great way to get together and keep that communication alive by writing letters back and forth to each other.”

Jordan and Jennifer came up with the idea and reached out to other parents and teachers.

Jennifer: “Everyone instantly said this is the best idea, we love it”

Now, about 40 kids from the school are part of the virtual pen pal group.

Jordan: “Our Tuesday letter you write out to a friend, our Friday letter you write back to who wrote to you so it’s kind of a back and forth.“

For example:

Jordan snaps a picture of Beau’s letter to Blaine, sends it off, and Beau writes back.

Jennifer: "It’s was a fun thing for them to still be learning but keeping in contact with their friends and they are so excited about sharing, like look what I did today!”

Reading and writing are staples of kindergarten education.

And these two moms don’t want their kids to fall behind.

Jordan: "We’re trying to make sure we don’t lose all that learning that we did, of keeping all those sight words, so that if we don’t get to go back to school that we’re prepared and ready for first grade.”

But for now, this bunch will keep up with their virtual pen pal group.

“I’m just hoping that we as a community can batten down the hatches and get some normalcy back.”

Papillion-La Vista community has a target date to return on April 30, but the district will reassess once it gets closer to that date.