MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — UMS-Wright Preparatory School and the Dumas Wesley Community Center for senior citizens have has a long-standing partnership through community service….This time, it is through the lost art of letter writing. UMS-Wright’s “Wright Way Character Education Program” launched a pen pal partnership where fifth graders are paired with senior citizens who have been isolated at home due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Joni Hendee with the Dumas Wesley Community Center, says, “The seniors have really enjoyed this pen pal program because it allows them to not only reminisce about their younger years but also to help combat the loneliness….the pandemic has really taken a toll on them.” Knowing that they have something to look forward to really brightens their day. From speaking with some of the students writing the letters, the feeling is mutual.
Brooke Hollensworth, the 5th grader at UMS-Wright Preparatory School, adds, “I am excited that they have written me back because I got to learn more about them and what they did in their past life.” Brooke is also very excited to see her pen pal’s answers to the questions that she asked in her second letter.
UMS-Wright offers character education classes where they try to find ways for students to demonstrate this character through community service. Doug Barber, Head of School at UMS-Wright Preparatory School, explains, “It has been the opportunity to go back to the old way of communicating through the written form….and also receiving those back. Having to wait to get those back in the mail…that has been kind of unique for our students. That anticipation of that connectivity is important.”
The students and seniors are just so excited to write and receive their letters and they say they plan to keep this program going.