Avila, the Capital Region’s premier retirement community for seniors seeking an active, engaging, and rewarding lifestyle, welcomed 22 Shaker High School juniors to meet their resident pen pals on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
The letter exchange program, now in its sixth year, matched Avila residents with students from Dr. James Bell’s English class who correspond throughout the school year. The initial pen pal letters were exchanged in September. While previous groups of residents and students have met, this was the first face-to-face interaction between the current groups.
“There is nothing quite like getting a letter in the mail. That special feeling unfolding that paper and reading the words of someone thinking about you goes way beyond texts and emails,” said Avila CEO Kathleen A. Richards. “Our residents are active teachers – some worked in classrooms while others are attorneys, writers, business owners, and more. This is a wonderful opportunity to pass down their knowledge and experiences to the next generation. We are proud to partner with Shaker High School and hope that the letters flow back and forth for years to come.”
“The letter-writing correspondence gives my students the authentic experience of using writing to create and maintain a personal relationship. Through writing, the students will get to know, and allow themselves to be known by, some fantastic residents at Avila, people willing to share their very different life experiences and perspectives. The connections that develop are warm and real, and the lunch in December is a wonderful setting in which to deepen the relationships,” said Bell.
The pen pal program is just one example of the wide array of programming available to Avila residents. Additionally, games, clubs, fitness, entertainment and trips and other enrichment activities are available to residents. Beyond that, the Avila community features some of the best security, dining, transportation, and housekeeping in the region