GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Pinewood Elementary in Jenison has recently brought back a tradition that helps to bring students of all ages together and teaches everyone valuable life lessons. The Pinewood Post Office has been around for over 25 years and this February it made a return to the school.

This program allows for upper grade level students to become pen pals with the lower grade level. These students are taught about writing, addressing and mailing letter, then second grade students have the honor of being the “mail carriers.” Pinewood second graders collect, sort and deliver the mail.

Behavior Specialist at Pinewood Elementary, Yvette Smith, says, “When our students are all connecting and engaging with each other they feel safe and cared for and have a better school experience.”

Not only does the Pinewood Post Office teach students valuable life skills, it also helps the student to better engage with essential academic skills including writing, by taking an otherwise mundane lesson and making it fun!

Second-grade teacher Amanda Roper says one student who is a reluctant writer has blossomed thanks to the Pinewood Post Office.

“He recently told me, ‘I am the letter-writing king! I have written so many letters I can’t even count them!’, and he’s right,” Amanda says. “He has been using every free moment to write to others, which is amazing!”

Second-grade student Ava says she loves keeping in touch with her friends through the Pinewood Post Office returns. “If it’s someone that you don’t see a lot, you can write a note to them and they can respond back.”

“Shared events like the Pinewood Post Office help students connect and engage with each other,” Amanda says. “It really brings our school community together to create a special school environment for all.”