WESTFIELD, MA – With Assisted Living communities restricting visitors and students across Massachusetts completing their school year through distance learning, Armbrook Village has found a creative way for seniors and students to keep in touch. The senior living community’s ConnectedLIFE residents and the White Oak School have created a pen pal program, exchanging letters and photos of them engaging in their favorite hobbies activities.
“For many residents, writing and receiving letters is a really comforting experience,” said Susan O’Donnell, ConnectedLIFE Program Specialist at Armbrook Village. “They’ve always enjoyed writing letters to family and friends, and now they have the opportunity to share their stories and wisdom with students in this same way.”
Armbrook Village and the White Oak School have held a longstanding relationship, with special visits for holidays, intergenerational programming, and student volunteers visiting the community. For the past three years, White Oak students have been coming to Armbrook Village to visit with their senior friends monthly and to participate in a Reading Club, where students are paired up with a senior mentor to practice their reading skills.
The pen pal program began in March, after schools transitioned to distance learning, and the in-person Reading Club had to be put on hold. So far, the students and seniors have exchanged numerous letters, and Armbrook and White Oak plan to continue the program through the summer, and potentially into the upcoming school year.
For more information on Armbrook Village Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Compass Memory Support community, please visit www.ArmbrookVillage.com. For more information on the White Oak School, please visit www.whiteoakschool.org. See this story in the Westfield News.