LaGrange students make friends through pen pal project

LaGrange Bureau

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Fifth grade students at Long Cane Elementary School have started a new project this year. They have become pen pals with many senior citizens all over Georgia.

Coming back to school was a challenge for teachers and students. Navigating COVID-19 rules was hard. Fifth grade language arts teacher Amy Taylor was looking for a positive project for her students to work on.

This unique collaboration has even lead to a special connection between Taylor’s students and her mother, a recipient of the cards.

“This is something that they wanted to do, they wanted to. They wanted to hear about the people that they were writing to, they want to check up on them,” said Taylor. “We’ve even had several of our pen pals who have passed away this year after we starting them. They volunteered to reach out to family members to send them sympathy cards.”

She believes the best way for people to overcome anxiety and feel more comfortable is to serve others and she is trying to instill that in her students.

Taylor says the project would not have been possible without the parents at Long Cane Elementary. Many have donated cards, stamps and other items to make the project possible.

One of the students, Chloe Brawner, was excited to hear about the project and saw it as an opportunity to make others happy.

“I was honestly a little bit excited but kind of scared because I don’t really know how people will think of me but I like making people’s day so I was excited,” said Brawner.

Brawner had one of her pen pals pass away but continues to write eagerly to new ones.

Two other students, Annie Kate Davidson and Camien Jackson- Fear, describe the feeling of writing to the seniors as “exciting” and like “Christmas” when they receive responses.

One recipient of the cards, Karen Davenport, has a grandson who attends Long Cane Elementary School. She said the cards make her feel really special and she is grateful for how much the students have afforded her in friendship. 

Some students even sent her “get well soon” cards for her foot surgery this past fall.

“I love their inquisitive little minds. I love that they share with me the details of their days, their hobbies, and their personal lives,” said Davenport. “They’ve opened their little hearts to me and call me Gigi like my grandson which makes me feel special.”

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