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"My students wanted to do something for their pen pals at Buryansungwe School in Uganda, so how could I say no?" said Michelle Komacek, a language arts teacher at Menallen Elementary in Uniontown, PA. A student suggested a penny war to raise money for their pen pals. It only lasted two weeks but they collected $350!
Writing letters has made them curious about the food, language, and typical school day of their pen pals. Ms. Komacek's original goal was to improve communication skills and cultural experience; however she feels that she and her students have gained much more. "The children of Buryansungwe Primary have made such a difference in our lives," Komacek said. "The sister school project has far exceeded my expectations by bringing out the very best in my students and building a strong sense of community among our learners. Leaders have emerged, student vision has grown beyond their world and they have taken action to make a difference, no matter how small, to others half-way across the world. I couldn't be more proud of them," she added.