Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 4, 2014

Pen pal party

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — BARKER — Generations came together Friday afternoon when the Barker Seniors met their first-grade pen pals.

Nearly 50 students from Pratt Elementary school piled into the Barker Fire Hall to meet the senior citizens with whom they’d corresponded since the beginning of the school year.

Participating seniors held up signs with their students’ names, airport-style, as the kids entered the fire hall.

It’s the third year of the Barker pen pal program, according to Barker Seniors director JoAnn Greenwald.

“The first year we had the program, it was only one first-grade class, and this year we had three classes participate. Generationally, it keeps us in touch with their age group, and it’s always fun to see what they have to say,” she said.

Pen pals are matched randomly, and some seniors have more than one student to correspond with.

Students wrote six letters this year around the major holidays.

“The first thing they wrote was a full length letter, telling about themselves and answering questions,” first grade teacher Sara Thibault said. “Every time they send a letter, they’re incorporating different writing skills.”

The program helps teach valuable social skills as well, Thibault said.

“You can’t imagine the joy on their faces when they receive your cards and letters,” she told the seniors.

Contact reporter Kaley Lynch at 439-9222, ext. 6245.

Contact reporter Kaley Lynch at 439-9222, ext. 6245.

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