A pen-pal project is keeping students connected to their classroom pet!

A kindergarten class in D.C. is shaking up distance learning with the help of a beloved furry friend. His name's Kevin, and he's about to steal your heart!

In a report from WTOP, Kevin the guinea pig resides at Eagle Academy Public Charter School in Congress Heights, where Christina Huether-Burns teaches kindergarten. For five years, this little guy has charmed students and become an active participant in classroom activities like storytime—kids love practicing their reading skills with Kevin as their attentive audience.

guinea pig

But the COVID-19 pandemic has put these comforting rituals on hold, and during quarantine, students are naturally feeling the blues. While virtual Zoom lessons aren't the same, Huether-Burns came up with a wonderful idea to make the best of the situation: a pen-pal project. The inspiration came from a former student's mother who reached out to ask about how Kevin was doing, which if you ask us, is a heartwarming testament to how loved he is!

guinea pig

Students can keep in touch with Kevin by sending him postcards in the mail, and in return, they'll receive a response back. During virtual lessons, she'll check in with students to see if they've received a response or if they want to send a postcard of their own. Snail mail has provided a fun opportunity to learn more about their friend, and they have a lot to talk about, like food (fun fact: his fave food is parsley).

guinea pig

While Huether-Burns misses being at school with her students, having them write to Kevin is adorable, as well as encouraging to see during times of increased isolation. If anything, it's inspiring us to grab a pen and reach out to someone, whether it's family or friends. We could all use a little connection right now!

**All photos courtesy of Eagle Academy

What do you think of Kevin the guinea pig? For those with young kids, are your classes doing anything similar? Let us know in the comment section!