The Traveling Journal – A Classroom Project

The Traveling Journal provides a way for a classroom of children with “less” and a classroom of children with “more” living across the country from each other, to connect… communicating with and learning about each other’s similarities and differences through writing and art in a large, shared journal.  (We also link classrooms of children affected by natural disaster with classrooms in other areas.)

Children who would never otherwise have the opportunity to share experiences with one another can do so through the exchange of both sets of students’ creative expressions in one “traveling” journal.

Unlike a typical pen-pal experience, the whole classroom can experience it together, resulting in a more group oriented, community-building activity.

The Traveling Journal Project benefits the children in both schools, familiarizing the more fortunate children with the idea that there are children just like themselves living in poverty, and expanding the world of possibilities for children who have much less.

It works like this: Family-to-Family links an interested classroom from a school with “more” to an interested classroom (of children in the same grade) in one of the impoverished communities we serve. For one school year, one oversized, well-crafted blank-paged journal and art supplies will first spend one month in a common area of the first classroom. Students will use the opportunity to write, draw, and share musings on the right side of the journal.

That same journal and a refreshed set of art supplies will then be shipped to the other school – the “partner” school, and again displayed in a classroom common area so that students can not only read the thoughts and view the artwork of the other classroom of children, but also respond by sharing their own thoughts and feelings, through prose or drawing, on the left side of the journal pages.

The journal is shipped back and forth, spending one month in each school, offering students in different parts of our nation a unique way to communicate, to learn about each other, to share commonalities and empathize through their differences. The journal and art supplies will arrive at each school in a beautiful fabric carrier, designed specifically for the Traveling Journal Project, as a way to honor and respect all creations found within its pages.

There is no charge for participating in this project; all costs for supplies and shipping between school districts are paid for and managed by Family-to-Family.

Contact us at journal@family-to-family.org about this project.