Few things are more enjoyable than receiving a hand-written letter from someone you care about. The ‘school sibling’ program at EMS is a time-honored tradition, and one of the features that gives the campus its warm, familial vibe. Usually, the program is perhaps most evident on Fridays during community meetings, when we gather in the Fellowship Hall, the younger students flock to their elder ‘siblings,’ and we sit in a circle as a full school. It’s a unique means of mingling grades K-8, and the students revel in the experience. This year, the tradition remains alive and well, despite the limitations of space we’ve needed to enact, and it has largely centered on written correspondence. Since the students are required to remain within their cohorts during the day, they haven’t been able to interact with their school siblings in person. And, over the summer, the faculty even briefly contemplated shelving the program under pragmatic constraint. Fortunately, our better natures quickly won out in realizing the upside of the emotional connection across grades, and we brainstormed creative adaptation. The writing program has been a big hit. We have several new students this year, too, so quite a few sibling pairings have never met each other face-to-face and didn’t know one another prior to their correspondence. Hence, their initial letters were geared around introductions: Primary and Middle School pairings exchanged an overview of their personal likes – favorite foods, colors, etc. – and asked each other questions to break the ice. Lately, the letters have naturally become more complex and deeper in meaning, as students get to know each other and share what they appreciate about the school and the larger community. Faculty collect the letters written within any particular room, then deliver them to their recipients. It’s truly wonderful to see the students’ faces light up upon receiving their mail, and they are excited by their personal connection with a pen pal, knowing they’ll eventually meet in person when the opportunity finally arises.