North County 3rd grade pen pals share a day in the park

Over 200 third-grade students gathered for an afternoon of fun in the sun on a field trip to St. Ferdinand Park in Florissant on Tuesday, May 3.  Teachers from the eight Catholic elementary schools that make up the Federation of Catholic Schools in North County planned the event after their students participated in a pen pal program throughout the school year.

“Our students really enjoyed the field trip, as well as writing and trading letters throughout the year, “ said Mrs. Jennifer Brooks, third grade teacher at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School in Ferguson.  “All of the teachers thought this was a great idea because it allowed the kids to meet in person and get to know one another for who they are, rather than what school they attend or to which sports team they belong.”    During the afternoon, students partnered with their pen pals and participated in activity stations including chess, bingo, parachute, duck-duck-goose, and a game of kickball.  All enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park. 

The idea for the pen pal program and field trip was born during the regular meetings of the third-grade Professional Learning Team (PLT), part of the Federation’s new professional development program. Faculty from each of the eight Federation schools (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Christ, Light of the Nations, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sacred Heart-Florissant, St. Angela Merici, St. Ferdinand, St. Norbert and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic Schools) have participated in a PLT over the past year, meeting in small groups of teachers who share either the same grade level or subject area.  On May 6, the PLTs finished their first year with a group meeting at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School, where each group reflected on what they had accomplished together, and reported their goals and accomplishments to the entire group of educators. The program will continue in the 2011-12 school year, and more joint field trips are likely to be planned.

For more information about the Federation of Catholic Schools, please visit