The excitement of receiving a letter in the mail is one that the 40 Crofton House Grade 1 students experienced first-hand this year when they became pen pals with approximately 20 alumnae who graduated between 1947–1982.
From March to June, Ms. Yorath and Ms. Svecova guided their students on what it means to be part of a community (home, school or the broader communities we live in). In past years, this has included visiting seniors at Crofton Manor for shared reading, however, due to the pandemic it was not possible this year. Instead, the project was reimagined in partnership with Advancement and led to alumnae across five decades volunteering as pen pals for the Grade 1 students.
Crofton House alumnae are no strangers to what it means to give back and be part of the School community. The pen pal project was a wonderful opportunity to forge intergenerational connections at a time when feeling connected to community has never been more important. Shared memories of playing in the woods and wearing tartan uniforms with white socks were some of the many stories that bonded both alumnae and students in a special and timeless way.
“The girls were truly able to feel what it means to be part of the CHS community by connecting with former generations of students,” commented Ms. Svecova.
“Alumnae talked about their love for CHS, the strong education it gave them, how much they loved their teachers, the traditions, the campus, and how they felt lucky to come to a school like this. It resonated with the girls because they would write back about their love of the school too,” said Ms. Yorath.
For the alumnae who participated, being a pen pal to the bright, young minds in Grade 1 brought back fond memories of their time at CHS.
“I was surprised at how the girls’ questions triggered memories I hadn’t thought about in years. It was so enjoyable to receive letters overflowing with their unique personalities, apparent both in their writing and artwork,” shared Karen (Sawchuck) Rivard ’71.
“I loved their questions, they were sweet and it brought back many good memories of my time at CHS. It was a wonderful experience to get letters from the girls and I always looked forward to receiving them,” said Margo (Coppleman) Ritter ’56.
One of the highlights for the students was when their pen pals included pictures of themselves as students or sent along stickers. “It became personalized,” said Ms. Yorath. We have no doubt that this is an experience the Grade 1 students and alumnae will remember for years to come.
This is an experience we hope to carry forward for the 2021-2022 academic year. If you are interested in participating as an alumna pen pal to a Grade 1 student, connect with us at email@example.com.