Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Dania Alexis Reyes

The Magic Pen Pal Kit

Thesis Statement

For my senior thesis, I created The Magic Pen Pal Kit. It all began when my neighbors announced that they were moving away. My children were heartbroken. They worried about how they would maintain contact with their friends. After some discussion, we talked about the benefits of having a pen pal. I shared with them how much I enjoyed receiving and sending mail when I was a kid.

As a child, I was gifted a book called Clever Letters, Fun Ways to Wiggle Your Words. This book inspired me to find creative and unique ways to write and send letters to my friends and family across the country. I wanted to update and simplify the mission of this book while adding tangible products. With this, The Magic Pen Pal Kit was born. Kids are at the center of this project. I assembled this project with their needs in mind. All children want to be heard, and they all love receiving mail. Through my research, I included how to write a letter. I also added creative ways to encourage communication amongst children. I explore how the kit could help them with their handwriting, reading, and written communication. The kit is designed to be colorful and visually engaging. I wanted the colors to be something that spoke to children but also remained gender-neutral. I picked a typeface that was easy to read but also childlike. I designed this with the frame of mind of what inspires children to express themselves. Literacy in reading and writing are skills that will follow children throughout their lifetime. With The Magic Pen-Pal Kit, I want to inspire children to write, express, and share their magical thoughts with those they love.

  • My name is Dania Reyes. I am an artist, student, daughter, sister, mother, friend, and partner. My art serves as an extension of who I am and the change I will create in the world around me. My experiences and perspective are shaped by me being a Black Latina mother living in America. Raising Black children, I see how impactful representation is to them.

    My children have served as my greatest inspiration. All that I create and design I do with the mindset of children’s social and emotional development. Their wonder and continued quest for knowledge remind me to simplify. What I design serves as a tool to educate and empower the next generation. I create so children can understand and connect with the world around them. Enrichment and enhanced quality of life is the goal.  

    I designed the Magic Pen-Pal Kit because a dear friend of my children was moving away. I wanted them to find a way to connect outside of technology. Writing literacy and reading are skills that will follow children throughout their lifetime. One never tires of the joy and magic of receiving a letter in the mail.