In an era dominated by digital communication, the art of handwritten letters, especially in cursive, is rapidly fading. However, a unique program at Adah Lineweaver Elementary School in Midtown is challenging that trend.

Missy Paschke-Wood, Associate Executive Director at The Hacienda at the Canyon, collaborated with Christy Masengarb, a third-grade teacher at Lineweaver, to create a program aimed at bridging generations through the written word.

The initiative paired 26 third-grade students with seniors from The Hacienda at the Canyon retirement community.

Throughout the academic year, the students diligently exchanged a dozen handwritten letters with their elder pen pals.

Masengarb emphasized the significance of this endeavor.

“In an era of texting and tweets, letter writing is a form of communication that could easily be lost to this generation,” she said.

The culmination of this heartwarming project was a meet-and-greet event where the students finally met their pen pals face-to-face.

The atmosphere buzzed with excitement as the young students eagerly showcased their cursive skills, demonstrating the fruits of their labor.

Carmen Doubleday, a third-grader, expressed her enthusiasm for cursive writing.

“Its really fun,” she said. “Because, instead of having to write one letter and then another letter, its like, you can just connect all those letters and then it looks a lot fancier and cooler that way.”

For the seniors, the experience was equally enriching. Ellen Poulson, a resident at The Hacienda, shared how she bonded with her pen pal over shared interests, despite the stark age difference.

“We shared what we like to do. Its good for them to get to know a little bit. And for sure for us to get to know little ones again,” she said.

Suzette, another resident, was moved by the connection she forged with her young pen pal.

“Connecting with someone who is 8 or 9 years old and finding out her perception of someone who is 84 was very intriguing!” she said, reflecting on the emotional depth of the experience.

The event concluded with a concert by the students, followed by a reception where they indulged in cookies and treats with their newfound friends.