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Pen Pals with Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools
Phil DeSantis
  • Pals for Life

Posted byJulie Hennison4/29/2021 2:30:00 PM

When the schools closed down back in March 2020 due to Covid-19, many of us felt we might be out for 2-3 weeks. More than a year later, though by no means back to business as usual, schools have reopened and the staff has returned to work. With people now getting vaccinated, there actually seems to be hope on the horizon that there may be an end to this pandemic in the very near future.

The pandemic has affected everyone, but perhaps no one more than children and senior adults. Both age groups found themselves in a position of not being able to get out and socialize which led to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Children felt lost not being able to see their grandparents. In many cases, children actually lost a grandparent and found comfort in sharing stories with their senior pals. The senior population also felt isolated in addition to being most vulnerable to the virus.

Raquel Harris, 7th grade language arts teacher at Culbreth Middle School, teamed up with Linda Kroger, another 7th grade teacher at the school, and the two, along with some volunteers at Carolina Meadows, started a pen pal project. The physician at the retirement community said that some of their residents were experiencing the same feelings some of the students felt: loneliness. On her website, Ms. Harris states: Though I don’t talk about it often, I am a teacher, blessed with 105 middle school minds this year. They are snarky and sarcastic. They are witty and wonderful. They are tired and grumpy, excited and funny. But most of all … they are lonely.

Read more here….

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