Ella Lee started a pen-pal program between children and seniors. (Contributed photo)

Ella Lee started a pen-pal program between children and seniors. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey teen starts pen-pal program between seniors and children

Ella Lee said program teaches importance of inter-generational connectedness

Knowing that seniors living in retirement homes were likely isolated and perhaps lonely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a South Surrey high school student set out to do something about it.

Amica White Rock contacted Peace Arch News earlier this month to share a new initiative started by Semiahmoo Secondary Grade 11 student Ella Lee.

Lee, in co-ordination with a class at Jessie Lee Elementary, launched a pen-pal program between young kids and elders in Amica.

As part of the trial program, about 30 students will work together to write 20 letters to the seniors, which have yet to be delivered. The plan, Lee said, is that the seniors will write back.

“I thought it would be a way to teach young kids about the importance of inter-generational connection,” Lee told PAN on Sunday.

SEE ALSO: Surrey ‘Quaranteens’ connect teens, seniors with letter-writing project

Lee said while seniors are plugged into the virtual world, a sense of connection can be lost through a screen.

“Especially in COVID, there’s a lot of isolation going on and a sense of connectedness is lost,” she said.

Lee said she got the idea after setting out to write a letter to a senior. However, she couldn’t find any programs operating in the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

“I figured, I had the free time, I’ll just make a program,” Lee said.

There’s no real format to the letters, Lee said, adding that she’s leaving it up to the children to write as they wish.

“These are kids and they have great personalities. They can doodle whatever they want, they can talk about themselves or what they did on the weekend. They’re letters, so we want them to be personal. I don’t want to make them too structured.”

Lee said if the program is successful, and if the seniors find value in it, she plans to expand to include more children and more adults.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read