Surrey elementary students connect with seniors through letter writing

Creekside students planning to send more cards for Valentine’s Day

Students at Creekside Elementary in Surrey wrote letters to seniors over the holidays, and are planning to write more for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)

Students at Creekside Elementary in Surrey wrote letters to seniors over the holidays, and are planning to write more for Valentine’s Day and Family Day. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)

Surrey’s Creekside Elementary is hoping to continue writing letters to seniors for more upcoming holidays.

The elementary school, along with many others in the district, wrote letters to seniors over the holiday season, and now the school wants to “carry the holiday cheer into the new year, by writing even more letters for seniors leading up to Valentine’s Day and Family Day,” according to the Surrey school district.

Creekside principal Margaret Geddes said the idea to write Christmas cards came from a London Drugs campaign that distributed tags to anyone who wanted to write to a senior. Geddes told her teachers, who were enthusiastic, but the store ran out of tags before they could write any cards.

“People in my school were disappointed, but I said, ‘Wait a second, who knows a senior who’s spending Christmas alone?’” she said. “They knew their grandmother in a care facility or their neighbour, and we wrote about 14 people on a list, including two volunteers in our school who haven’t been able to be here this year.”

Geddes said the response from seniors led to a “unique connection” that her classes want to maintain, prompting the idea for the upcoming holidays.

“Most of the seniors emailed or phoned because it was a surprise to get these gifts and cards,” she said. “It’s like having a pen pal. The kids were really excited, they thought it was really important to reach out to our seniors. People want to be able to show that they care, and here was a little way to do it.”

The district said the Creekside Elementary normally invites grandparents to the school for Family Day (Feb. 15), and while that can’t happen this year, Geddes added the school is excited to still connect with seniors.

Geddes said she has shared the idea with other principals and even looked into finding retired teachers and principals to receive cards from schools. While she has 325 Creekside students participating, she said other schools have the potential to connect with even more seniors.

“It’s such a simple idea, and yet it’s so powerful,” she said. “I’d encourage other schools to do it. It didn’t really take a lot of effort and it had a really positive impact on both sides.”

At the start of the pandemic, two students at Fleetwood Park Secondary (who have since graduated) decided to create an initiative to connect teens and seniors to ease feelings of isolation.

RELATED: Surrey ‘Quaranteens’ connect teens, seniors with letter-writing project, May 2, 2020

The students, Tina Yong and Jasmine Chahal, created Quaranteens and connected about 50 students across the Lower Mainland with at least six care homes.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

EducationSeniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

High winds Friday made perfect conditions for kite-surfers near the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Kite-surfers take flight near White Rock Pier

Aerial performance put on near iconic waterfront attraction

B.C. researchers are asking for the public’s help in monitoring the bat population. (Cathy Koot photo)
Semiahmoo Peninsula residents asked to monitor bat activity

Researchers keeping eye on spread of white-nose syndrome

White Rock City Hall (Peace Arch News photo)
City of White Rock seeking input on draft financial plan

Plan includes tax rate increase of 4.28 per cent

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

(Black Press - file photo)
WEATHER: Enjoy the sun today, prepare for a week of rain

Clouds and rain to arrive by evening, Environment Canada forecasts

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Most Read