Each year students in Lindsay Oliveira’s fourth grade class at Northwood Elementary become pen pals with residents at Aljoya on Mercer Island. Students and residents exchange letters monthly.
“We call the residents our adopt-a-grandparents, and both students and residents await anxiously to hear back from their pen pal,” Oliveira said in a press release. “It’s an amazing inter-generational experience, and something that truly adds greatly to our fourth-grade learning and memories made.”
Pictures, art work, brain puzzles to work on, and more are included often in the letters. Residents and students also will often send birthday cards to each other, as well as little gifts.
At the end of each school year, the students visit Aljoya for a pen pal party. For many of the pen pals, this is the first time they have met in person after getting to know each other so well through letter writing.
The pen pals were able to sit together to visit, eat ice cream sundaes, and tour the Aljoya gardens and facilities. Many of the students will continue to write and send summer post cards to their pen pals.