On Friday December 4th, third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Will Rogers sent their first batch of letters to their new pen pals at our new sister school: "ESCUELA PRIMARIA 25 DE OCTUBRE DE 1697" located in Loreto, Baja Mexico. Earlier this year, the city of Ventura entered a Sister City relationship with Loreto. Ms. Julie Salomonson, one of our Will Rogers parents and active PTA members, joined Ventura's sister city committee and has led the efforts in beginning the pen pal program. Julie began by communicating with a community leader in Loreto who was able to find a school principal excited about pursuing the idea of pen pals. Julie brought the idea to Dr. Cortes, who thought it would be a wonderful way for the students to share and learn while practicing their Spanish writing skills. Dr. Cortes turned the project over to Mrs. Ruvalcaba who has been instrumental in contacting the principal at "Escuela Primaria 25 de Octubre de 1697" and matching up students. This Pen Pal program is a great way for our school and students to join with community leaders in Ventura and help further the sister city goal of building a cultural relationship.
The kids have worked hard to write wonderful letters and we will look forward to their responses! The hope is that this can grow beyond pen pals and become an ongoing cultural exchange. Thank you so much to the students, teachers and administration for their support.
Some background on the sister city relationship:
Loreto was selected in part to be a sister city with Ventura because of the similarities in our natural environment. Both cities have a chain of islands off the coast that are national parks. The hope is we can exchange information on how to successfully manage and protect our natural resources while growing tourism and business. Another exciting aspect of our sister city is the Mission of our Lady of Loreto located there, which is at the start of El Camino Real trail. We have a joint history with the Junipero Serra and the Franciscan priests who built the missions stretching from Loreto to San Francisco. It will be a very interesting and relevant connection for our 4th graders as they study the missions!
Anyone who is interested in joining the Sister City Committee can contact Julie Salomonson firstname.lastname@example.org, as it is a great way to get involved in the community! Thank you Julie for starting this incredible program for our students!