PUPILS at a Chorley school are doing their bit for international relations by striking up a friendship with New York schoolchildren.

Year eight students at Parklands High, Southport Road, decided to send letters to pupils at John F Kennedy High School after the events of September 11 last year.

And this week, more than 200 letters and cards offering support written by the 12 and 13-year-olds were dispatched across the Atlantic.

Deputy head Chris Taylor said: "The children were so appalled by what happened in New York that they felt they should do something.

"They decided to send letters to children at JFK High and some of them now keep in regular contact.

"We hope to continue the correspondence and maybe set up an exchange visit with students over." The letters, written as part of English lessons, are aimed at helping children in New York come to terms with the atrocities.

Parklands pupils said they understand how the American schoolchildren must feel.

"I really feel sorry for them, they've suffered a huge loss and I hope the letters we send cheer them up a bit," said Nabeelah Illahi.

"I've written five letters and I'm hoping to make some special friends over there."

Sean Roberts said he was so shocked after September 11 he felt he must do something.

"I wrote that I was thinking of them and told them how sorry I was.

"'Some pupils wrote back thanking me and asking about life over here. I hope we can arrange an exchange visit because I'd really love to go and see their school and meet the people we've written to."