Grade 3 students in Edmonton are making a connection the old fashioned way.
Students at Roberta MacAdams School have become pen pals with local seniors who may be feeling isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group of 50 students call themselves the “COVID Care Bears.”
Kaasha Withanachchi said she has had a lot of fun getting to know her pen pal, who she exchanges letters with every two weeks.
“She likes butterflies and she used to have a cat,” Withanachchi said. “I want to learn more about her. I was writing my next letter to her today.”
Teacher Ashley Elford said it has been a rewarding experience for both the students and seniors.
“They are sharing their world. We talked about making leprechaun traps and some of the pen pals will write about what they remember doing in Grade 3,” Elford said.
The students began writing letters in February and plan to continue until at least June.
Elsewhere in the school, another class of Grade 3 students have created a “COVID Happiness Makers” group to give out care packages to people in the school community and beyond.
“Packages of books, small toys and grocery store gift cards,” explained student Robert Hwang. “We also made them cards.”
The other Grade 3 class will also be delivering care packages to some of their pen pals after spring break.
Supplies for the care packages were purchased with the help of funding from Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty, a United Way initiative which provides schools with an opportunity to access grants and take action against poverty in their city.
“It obviously hit a spot in their hearts. They want to do things and they want to give back,” Elford said. “It’s just been an amazing experience.”
The students also fundraised within their school, and will use the additional money to purchase even more supplies for care packages.
“It makes me feel like I’m changing the world,” Hwang said.