WRITE IDEA: Maryborough's Zavier Purnell will be communicating with children from Maryborough in Victoria thanks to the Fraser Coast Libraries penpals program.
WRITE IDEA: Maryborough's Zavier Purnell will be communicating with children from Maryborough in Victoria thanks to the Fraser Coast Libraries penpals program. Carlie Walker

Putting the pal into pen pal on the Fraser Coast

PUTTING pen to paper may be considered an old-fashioned way to communicate, but having a pen pal is a rite of passage through childhood.

Fraser Coast children are discovering the fun of being introduced to a new person via hand-written letters, thanks to a pen pal program co-ordinated by the region's libraries. To add a twist, the pen pals are from Maryborough, Victoria.

Zavier Purnell, 11, has posted off her first letter introducing herself to her new pen pal.

Her mum, Ruth, says the family uses the library a lot.

"We do home-schooling so this is a way for her to connect to the community and wider community,” Mrs Purnell said.

"We do as much stuff with the library as we can.”

The program has had a good response, and will run for three months with the libraries exchanging the letters on the children's behalf. After that time children can exchange addresses, with their parents' permission, and stay in touch with their pen pals.

Fraser Coast councillor for community George Seymour said the program was about literacy and communication as well as gaining an understanding of the world.

As well as practising their spelling, grammatical and hand-writing skills, children would also learn about a new place and the similarities and differences that existed between different places.

Having a pen pal to share with was a great way of doing that, he said.



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