• Hira Qureshi

PVS Pen Pals Program connects students with community seniors


Pleasant View School started a pen pal program to connect students with community seniors during the pandemic.

The program was created by teacher Shampa Mannan. She set the program up to help students and the elderly feel better during this trying time.

"People going through sudden changes and being quarantined can go through many types of emotions and become very stressed especially the elderly, young children and those who live alone," Mannan said. "I started thinking about some of our vulnerable Muslim community members and wondering how they were doing."

The program is for all PVS students, from grades pre-kindergarten to twelfth-grade. It is meant to cheer up vulnerable community members.

"Pen pal writing is very new and strange for this tech savy/ text /tik tok generation who have never written letters," Mannan said. "However, our parents (grandparents) and our generation know about writing letters and used to write letters and liked receiving letters and cards from friends across the globe."

And with Ramadan this month, Mannan said the community maybe feeling sad about the lack of iftars and tarweeh prayers. So this program connects the community in a creative way without computers.

After Mannan contacted members of the community to participate, her daughter, Yasmeen, organized the database system to match students with a Muslim community member.

Student participants have been told to take health precautions and wash hands before writing letters to ensure no germ spread in the letters.

"Alhamdullilah, we have close to 30 students who have participated so far," Mannan said. "We are still looking for more students to send Ramadan greetings and insha'Allah Eid greetings as well."

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