Remember the excitement you felt as a child when you received a letter in the mail? Thanks to a program between RiverWoods Manchester residents and students at St. Benedict’s Academy that magic continues. For more than ten years the pen pal program has helped fourth graders learn to write while fostering connection and community with the residents of independent living. Each month, the students and residents exchange letters and share happenings of their lives as well as a little about themselves. The students learn letter writing skills and paragraph structure.
The residents receive an infusion of energy when the students come to visit. On December 12 the students arrived and met their pen pal in person. They took photos together, sang, danced, exchanged gifts and enjoyed cookies. Resident Pat Cobb explained this was her first year in the program. “The letters are just so precious, and they have so much good energy.”
The benefits of connection and maintaining relationships at any age are countless. The pen pals are looking forward to their last meeting of the year at the school in March and keeping in touch with more letters until then. Vivienne Jones, a student at St. Benedict’s mentioned that she liked the gifts from her pen pal and said “I will keep in touch with her, even after this school year ends.”