BIB Penpals might appear at an upcoming Ignite Miami evening

10 May

Here’s a fun idea Ignire Miami at  


Here’s what I submitted:

60% of the U.S. population does not have a passport.

Most U.S. teenagers are monolingual, putting them at a disadvantage in the global economy.

Students are required to accumulate 70 hours of service hours as part of the requirements for high school graduation.

In addition to picking up trash on the beach and volunteering at hospitals, what if kids could (a) use their skills on Facebook and with email to (b) contact teenagers in other countries who want to improve their English.

Here’s the message that I send to students in other countries:


Hi, I’m a teacher of English and I work with students at several high schools in Florida. Many of these students have never visited your country but they dream about traveling … and these students have a skill that many of your students want: the U.S. accent.

I created a project called “Skype Penpals” (BIB Penpals) to encourage students in the USA to write to and speak with students in other countries. The U.S. students can become “conversation assistants” to help other students with English language practice. The U.S. students can also learn some phrases in other languages.


You can learn more at

My non profit organization has developed a free program called BIB Penpals (email or Skype or Facebook connections with teenagers in other countries)

In 5 minutes I plan to describe the program and in the remaining 2 minutes I’ll arrange to hand out flyers and take questions and concerns from the audience. Typical questions are

a) how do you make sure students remain safe? ANSWER: ask parents to sit with the teenager and use some commonsense.

b) have you introduced the program to high schools? ANSWER: yes and most principals turn it down for legal reasons. What if something goes wrong? The U.S. student heard about the program through the school and the school is liable.” So I am appealing to a general population to the public for support and to find US teenagers to volunteer. I issue letters to confirm participation in the program as proof for the hours…

c) how does your organization make money and fund this outreach to students? ANSWER: donations. I receive no salary and the donations cover the cost of explanatory disks and website space.

I hope you are inspired to invite me to describe this program.

Nice idea. It’s like
Steve McCrea
954 646 8246 mobile      


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