CES and Senior Connection partner as pen pals

Published 12:04 pm Thursday, May 17, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

A special project for Clanton Elementary School kindergarteners in Nancy Powell’s class came to a climax on May 16 when students met theirs pen pals from Senior Connection.

“I’ve had the idea for awhile, but it just took us awhile to get it going,” Powell said. “We started this after spring break.”

Powell said she had talked to the Senior Connection members during the break and asked if they would be interested in the pen pal project.

Powell said the students have written two letters to their Senior Pals and an invitation to the May 16 classroom visit.

Senior Connection members received the letters at their homes and sent responses to the school to be given to the students.

“They have asked them lots of interesting questions, including do they like taco meat and how old they are, they’ve talked about their grandchildren and their favorite colors,” Powell said. “It taught the kids a lot about how to have a conversation, ask a question [and] reply to the question they ask. It has helped us to reinforce our sentence structure and capitals and periods.”

Pets have also been a popular topic for the letters.

During the classroom time with the Senior Pals, the CES students drew a picture for them and demonstrated some of their favorite learning games. The pen pals also read a book together. Students also spent time telling their Senior Pals about their favorite activities.

Scarlett Teel brought one of her paintings of a cat to show the group because her pen pal said they like cats.

Gordon Swenson of Senior Connection and his pen pal Houston Watley enjoyed drawing pictures for each other and writing about their favorite colors.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Swenson said.

During the classroom visit, he said he enjoyed ” the energy that the kids have.”

Myra Patterson of Senior Connection was paired with CES Ryleigh Grant, but she also spent time with Cooper Owens, whose pen pal could not attend, during the classroom visit.

Patterson said she “couldn’t wait to sign up” when she heard about the pen pal opportunity.

She said she has enjoyed both receiving and responding to Ryleigh’s letters.

“I’m not much of a letter writer, so it made me go back to writing letters, and I guess I enjoyed the fact that I knew that he would be looking forward to letters,” Linda Turnipseed, retired CES teacher and Senior Connection member, said.

Turnipseed said the Senior Pals brought a gift for each of the students.

“I was excited to meet him,” Turnipseed said.

Her pen pal was Brody Brooks. He said it was fun reading a book to Turnipseed,