Pen Pal Program Turns News Into Political Discourse Between Students

Free PENPAL NEWS aims to promote critical conversation around real-world issues by connecting students over news reports. Previously focused on international exchanges, the social learning app is taking advantage of election year fervor with its Red-Blue program. So far, the six-week exchange program has connected 6,000 middle and high schoolers in 25 states over issues like immigration, the economy, and healthcare. Founder Michael Bernstein hopes students can look past political gamesmanship and understand diverse perspectives. “We’re going beyond the question of what policy you support and trying to present articles that have to do with real world issues and let students relate back to their life,” he says. PenPal Red-Blue is expected to continue beyond the election, and teachers are welcome to signup on a rolling basis.

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