Grade 2 students making connections with New Brunswick seniors thanks to pen pal project
HALIFAX -- A group of Grade 2 students at Princess Elizabeth School in Saint John, N.B. has been writing letters back and forth with residents at a local seniors home.
Since the start of the school year, the Grade 2 class have been pen pals with senior residents at the Parkland Saint John facility.
"We sent the letters off in a batch and then about a month later, we got their responses in the mail, which was very exciting for the students to see stamps and stamped letters with their names on them," said Tobi MacNamee, the students' teacher.
MacNamee says she was working on setting up programs with Shannex that would allow the students to visit in-person last year. Due to the pandemic, those plans were cancelled, so she decided letters could work too.
The teacher says the pen pals are getting to know each other better with each letter.
"At the end, they would ask a question to the seniors who were their pen pals, so they might ask, 'What is your favourite animal,' or your favourite food, and that sort of kicked it off," said MacNamee. "So, each time we write the letters and they write the letters, they tell a little about themselves."
The last few months were difficult for residents of Parkland Saint John, due to a COVID-19 outbreak that was finally declared over last week.
The principal of Princess Elizabeth School, Jennifer Carhart, says she hopes the letters brought the seniors some joy during their difficult time.
"Our situation right now is a little different and how nice is that to have some communication with a little one," said Carhart. "Nothing is more special than having a little excitement come your way from a student."
The pen pal project will last the duration of the school year and MacNamee says there's a possibility it could continue in the future.
"I think it would probably be a great project for other teachers that want to do it. If I'm here, I will absolutely continue," said MacNamee.