Park pen pal project continues to grow

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Park students in third and fourth grade will again participate in a pen pal project with students from Africa.

Park students heard a presentation from Gary Muldoon on Friday, Oct. 16 about the project along with  his efforts to start libraries in Kenya and Gambia.

Muldoon said the students in Nairobi are excited about communicating with others around the world and receiving letters back from students in live elsewhere. 

Muldoon said he has set up three libraries and is working on setting up two more. It took two months to transport 1,500 books for the first library, he said.

Park students are pen pals with students at Valley View Academy, which has more than 1,000 students. The students at Valley View speak three languages and had never seen a library before Muldoon started one.

"The kids there like the same books as you,'' said Muldoon, who works for Alliant Energy.

He told the students he expected it would take two months for their letters to reach the students in Africa.

"It just takes a while to get them over there and get them back,'' he said. "It's just part of dealing with Africa.''

He also asked Park students to guess how students in Africa are the same as students in Cross Plains.

"They love to read books and write letters,'' Muldoon said.

Park librarian, Amy Kurka, is the leader of the pen pal project. She has received 18 letters from students in Brenda Autz's class already.

-- Fourth-graders Jake Leslie and Raquel Conley helped with this story.