St. Lawrence County pen pal program launched to connect students and seniors during COVID-19

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CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — Who doesn’t love a pen pal?

The St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau announced on Monday, their official launch of a pen pal program aiming to connect local residents. According to the Bureau, the program will connect North Country seniors and youth to benefit the county’s elderly and youth population.

The Youth Bureau shared that this program was created after successfully completing a holiday card drive where it became apparent of a need to foster and support human connection during the trying times of COVID-19.

All letters will be facilitated through the Youth Bureau. Students of all grade are eligible to participate as well as entire classrooms.

St. Lawrence County Youth Bureau Director Alexa Backus shared her excitement on the programs launch.

“We are excited to be partnering with St. Lawrence County’s Office for the Aging to offer this pen pal program,” stated Backus. “Our county students are experiencing screen fatigue from e-learning and Zoom meetings and want to feel a sense of community.  There are a lot of benefits of intergenerational interaction including having a positive impact on emotional health.  Additionally, this is a critical time to combat depression while we continue to self-isolate and socially distance during COVID-19.”

St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging Director Andrea Montgomery added, “this will be a wonderful integration and partnership of older adults and youth.  This program will help ease the isolation and loneliness many older adults are facing due to the pandemic.”

St. Lawrence County students can sign up for the pen pal program by emailing RZuhlsdorf@stlawco.org or by calling 315-386-4730.

Seniors can sign up through the St. Lawrence County Office for the Aging by emailing PZimmerman@stlawco.org or by calling 315-386-4730.

Registration for both seniors and students must be completed by mid-February 2021.

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