Older adults become pen pals

Shenango on the Green resident Martha Jo Stump enjoys a game with two students from Wilmington Elementary School.

Curiosity, socializing, and penmanship: what do these all have in common?

They are all key benefits of having a pen pal.

Last fall, Alex Schroder, a Learning Support teacher at Wilmington Elementary School, contacted Shenango on the Green to ask if residents would be interested in a pen pal program. A survey was conducted and, indeed, there was great interest in starting a pen pal program between residents and the students. Schroder assigned a student or two to each resident who wanted to participate.

Residents would write letters and drop them off at the front desk. Schroder would then pick up the letters for her students while dropping off letters from her students to the residents. Since the program started, both residents and students have  enjoyed their time writing and reading letters from one another.

Recently, Alex and Jill Wilson, hospitality coordinator at Shenango on the Green, organized a meet-and-great with participating residents and students. The students walked to Shenango on the Green from their school and enjoyed refreshments and conversation with the residents. Overall, the program proved to be a meaningful inter-generational experience for everyone involved.

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