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A Mix of Tradition and Technology Between Seniors and Students

The lost art of letter writing is getting a small revival through the efforts of the Grade 2 students and their teachers. Mrs. Fajardo and Mrs. Dube have been spending time teaching the young students how to write a personal letter, also known as a “friendly letter.” The students have learned in class about all the different parts of a friendly letter – the heading, the salutation, the body, the closing, the signature – and the customary words and phrases used. They had a chance to put all they learned into practice this week with the help of their friends at the nearby ‘Ilima at Lehano Senior Living community.

Provided with guided stationery themed for the upcoming Valentine’s Day, the little writers crafted friendly letters to the residents of ‘Ilima, with sweet sentiments like “I am so happy to be here today” and “I missed you while we were at school.” The students have gotten to know the seniors throughout the school year with regular trips to visit them as part of their unit of inquiry on Community and to spend time together on special activities during the holidays.

On Tuesday, February 4, Mrs. Fajardo’s class hand delivered their friendly letters to their senior friends and spent time side-by-side reading their letters to them. The residents were so obviously pleased, and the smiles were mutal. They then had fun working on some low-tech pencil and paper games together, like a Valentine’s I Spy Game and Would You Rather. But it wasn’t long before the students’ iPads were out and became the focus of attention. The second graders were excited to show the seniors all the fun things they could do with their apps, picking funny emojis together and working through digital mazes to the delight of both. One 90-year old resident, in response to watching a student swiping objects on her iPad screen teasingly said, “Let me see your finger! It must be magic!”

Mrs. Dube’s class will have their chance to visit and share their letters next week.

The Grade 2 students are developing wonderful intergenerational friendships with the residents, and this partnership with ‘Ilima at Leihano provides many meaningful opportunities for our students to become involved citizens within their communities and to fulfill their kuleana to give back.


Letter from student to senior


Student and senior working on project together


Student and a senior play a maze game on an iPad


Student and senior do math on an iPad