Those able to attend the author visit this month were treated to something extraordinary. Caitlin Alifirenka visited LFHS on October 18 and shared the true story of how one class assignment changed the course of her life. She also made LFHS students an interesting offer.
Here’s part of her story. In 7th grade, Caitlin’s teacher announced it was the final year of the pen-pal project and that every student in the class must pick a country they’d be interested in sending a letter to. Her interest was peaked, and wanting to break with convention, Caitlin picked the last country on the list, Zimbabwe, and her adventure began. In Africa, Martin Ganda received her letter because he was the smartest student in his class of 50, and when he responded, their friendship over the years across thousands of miles – and who knows how many letters – impacted their lives and steered them both in completely awesome directions.
Caitlin and Martin wrote the book I Will Always Write Back with the help of Liz Welch, sharing the actual letters they sent each other and telling the rest of their story. Caitlin offered to match LFHS students, based on age, with international students in Thailand and Zimbabwe but made it known that our students would have to initiate the letter writing. She shared how the kindness that developed between her and Martin became contagious, the theme of her talk: Kindness is Contagious.
Her offer still stands so contact Caitlin if you’re interested in making a new international friend. Find her on social media here: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. Are you up for the adventure?