Monday, November 21, 2011


EPals is an online site that allows individuals to collaborate and work together globally. My favorite piece of this interactive site is the "1n2Books" portion. Here, students are engaged in ementoring with adult pen pals. Students and adults read a novel and discuss the main points via epals. Students are given the opportunity to read quality literature outside the classroom. They are also provided with the chance to discuss their reading with an interested adult. It seems to me that students will be more likely to react to literature when they do not feel like they are being judged. Inside the classroom, students tend to be so focused on giving the "right" answer, they do not get the chance to become really involved in the literature. I think this is an excellent way to encourage students to become life long readers. They are given the opportunity to see how literature is used in everyday life. Furthermore, students are required to read and respond to literature. They begin to think about their reading as it relates to their lives by making text to text and text to self connections. 

As an educator in an inner-city, another great benefit of this program, that is not necessarily educational, would be the exposure to a caring, consistent adult. Too often, children do not benefit from adult influence and providing them with an adult pen pal would certainly benefit them in more ways than one. 

epals global community

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you could suggest to a teacher in your school that he/she try out the In2Books program. I have participated for about 4 years as a mentor and I think it could be very beneficial for younger children. I have only experienced the program from the mentor side, so I don't know if the program is free for teachers or how one gets involved, but it is definitely worth looking into. By the way, all the mentors have to go through a background check before they can participate. The teacher sets the deadlines for reading and monitors all correspondence. The children (grades 3-5 I think) select the books. The program is very well set up. Maybe you'd like to try out being a mentor to see how it works from that perspective!