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Penticton pen-pal project created for Grade 6 students and retirement home residents

A pilot project will see middle school students connect with senior citizens in Penticton. Global News

A new pilot project has been created to connect young students with retirement-home residents.

It’s a spinoff project created as a result of the City of Penticton’s age-friendly initiative.

“We’ve been hearing feedback that older adults are worried about the coming winter and feelings of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adam Goodwin, the City of Penticton’s social development specialist.

“We’re thrilled these classes are taking initiative to provide social interaction and taking the time to learn about the older adult community in Penticton.”

Read more: Regina pen pal program connects kids with care home residents amid COVID-19 pandemic

About 50 KVR Middle School students will be corresponding with senior citizens at the Cherry Park Retirement Residence.

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Two Grade 6 classes are participating in the pilot project, and teachers hope the relationships created will continue throughout the year.

The city first launched its age-friendly campaign on Oct. 13, encouraging residents of all ages to share their ideas and photographs about how Penticton can become more welcoming and inclusive for older adults.

“I can’t think of a better way than for our youth to dialogue with seniors and hear their thoughts on the strengths and stretches of what our community offers. It’s an opportunity for them to build relationships, gain perspective and have a voice,” said Steve DeVito, KVR Middle School’s principal.

Read more: B.C. girl makes unlikely pen pals after ‘get well’ balloons travel 1,300 km over Rocky Mountains

The city is also working with Penticton Seniors’ Drop-In Centre Society and the South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society to possibly expand the project.

If your residence is interested in taking part, please email socialdevelopment@penticton.ca.

Click to play video: 'B.C. woman meets pen pal of 60 years for the first time' B.C. woman meets pen pal of 60 years for the first time
B.C. woman meets pen pal of 60 years for the first time – Apr 19, 2019

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