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PHS freshmen have Ukrainian pen pals

Submitted photo Students in Shelley Bunkowske's civics class at Perham High School have Ukrainian pen pals.

Ninth graders in Shelley Bunkowske's Civics Class at Perham High School have pen pals from Kieve, Ukraine.

The students sent their first letters off last week to students in Kieve and were delighted when return emails starting arriving the next day.

The pen pal letters are intended to teach world citizenship and offer another way for PHS students to use their iPads.

The idea for the exchange came after Bunkowske participated in a Teaching American History Grant. While there she met Bill Mohn, who taught in Detroit Lakes for several years.  

When Mohn decided to take a position in Kieve, Ukraine, Bunkowske saw it as an opportunity for her civics students at PHS.

At the start of second trimester the two teachers laid out their plan, first having PHS students send letters to Kieve, then having Mohn match up the Perham students with his students.

Throughout the next 11 weeks, Perham students plan to use their cameras and video capabilities to share viewpoints on their school, family and community. The class is hoping Kieve students will at some time have the ability to Skype with them. Although Perham students will be required to correspond for this trimester, they could choose to continue their new friendships for years to come.