Excellence in Education: Gilmer Co. Elem. School’s pen pal program

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 3:43 PM EDT
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GLENVILLE, W.Va (WDTV) - In this week’s Excellence in Education report sponsored by Davis & Elkins College, we are highlighting the Gilmer County Elementary School pen pal program.

Kendall Fraizer is a fifth grade student at Gilmer County Elementary School. She’s been writing to her pen pal, Pat, a resident at Genesis Nursing Home in Glenville, since the beginning of the year.

“So, her name is Pat, and she’s been telling me about things she likes to watch and when her birthday is,” Kendall said.

The two met through her school’s pen pal program, introduced by 5th grade teacher Wesley Self.

“The students have been chosen for character, education, and for their writing skills. It means a lot that these students are able to write to an actual individual and interact with their community,” Self said.

The program involves 18 students and 15 residents at the nursing home, and the students have been working on their letters for a few months now.

Kendall’s pen pal, Pat, has several students writing her.

“Dear Pat, I’m not from West Virginia, either. I moved here with my mom and dad and my sisters. Do you have any grandkids? I would love to know,” student Lilly Moss said in a letter.

The students say their favorite part is knowing they are bringing a smile to their pen pals’ faces.

“Most of them don’t really get sent anything or never really get to talk to people that aren’t residents there, so I hope it made her happy,” Kendall said.

The students have met the residents one time and are planning a cookies and bingo at the end of the month.