Future Reflections Special Issue, Vol. 14 No. 2
A Pen Pal Program for Blind Youth
Sponsored by the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Pen pal programs are lots of fun. They help students find new friends all over the country, sometimes all over the world. Students who would never have a chance of getting to know each other can become pen pal friends by writing letters to each other.
Of course, they don't know each other at first. Pen pal programs take applications from students and use them to find pen pal matches. After a match is made, the student gets the name and address of their new pen pal. It is then up to the students to begin writing letters to each other.
Slate Pals is a pen pal program for blind Braille reading students who want to write Braille letters to other students. It is called a Slate Pal program because slates are a handy, cheap, and easy way of writing Braille, just as pens are a handy, cheap, and easy way of writing print. (If you haven't learned how to use a slate and stylus yet, ask your teacher or your parents about it. It's fun to do and easy to learn.)
All kinds of kids of all ages sign up for the Slate Pal program. Sometimes blind kids from foreign countries want a Slate Pal. Sometimes sighted kids who want to learn Braille write and ask for a blind Slate Pal. But most of the kids are kids who just want to write to someone their own age. It's especially neat to write letters (and get letters) in Braille. It's also great to have someone to talk to about things that only another blind kid can understand.
If you would like to be a Slate Pal just fill out the Slate Pal Profile. There is no cost, but be ready to wait several weeks while a match is found. Once a match is made each applicant will get a copy of his or her new Slate Pal's Profile. The rest is then up to you!
SLATE PAL PROFILE
Mrs. Debbie Stein
5817 North Nina
Chicago, Illinois 60631
City ____________________ State _______________ Zip __________
Age ______ Grade __________ (circle one) Male Female
I would like (fill in the number) [ ] slate pal(s)
I would like my slate pal(s) to be: ______age (please specify a range) male or female or both (circle one)