On a recent chilly morning in February, every 5th grader from the Kennedy/Longfellow (K/Lo) School was warmed to the core at a special celebratory breakfast with their KeyPal mentors from Draper Lab, IBM and MIT. Many of the 25+ students brought their parents as well. KeyPals, a program directed by Kathy Walsh Malone, Technology Integration Specialist, and managed by CSV, pairs 5th graders and adult mentors who correspond via e-mail around science themes and career awareness. Now in its 18th year, the program has been a mainstay at the school.
At the recent breakfast, KeyPals met parents for the first time, and students had a chance to shine in front of both. Each student used an iPad to showcase their work and learning experiences. The K/Lo and Lesley University have partnered to enhance teaching and learning through classroom technology integration. The partnership has allowed the K/Lo to provide a technology-rich learning environment in which fifth graders have access to tablets, laptops, robotics and other tools that are integrated into the daily curriculum. The KeyPal program dovetails nicely with this partnership as students increase their technological and writing skills thought frequent communication and sharing of work.
It was truly a memorable and fun breakfast, with more e-mail communication to follow and a luncheon hosted by MIT in the spring. CSV thanks its many KeyPals, some of whom have been with the program for more than 10 years.