Trillium Lakelands District School Board students and Victoria Manor residents will be the first group in Canada to participate in an innovative PaperPal program. The program helps youths develop fine motor skills, spurs seniors to practice a useful cognitive exercise, and give both groups a way to develop enjoyable and enriching connections.
“Many of our residents live with the effects of Alzheimers/Dementia, and this program presents a significant cognitive, social and emotional exercise that will greatly help them,” said Angela Everson, Victoria Manor’s life enrichment assistant. “And the teachers I’ve talked to are so excited about how this will help their students in the same way.”
The PaperPal effort will connect generations through letter-writing as seniors and students become pen pals. Students from Scott Young Public School, IE Weldon Secondary School, Jack Callaghan Public School, and Fenelon Falls Secondary School will become pen pals with Victoria Manor residents, writing several letters back and forth before meeting in person at a special event for participants held in May.
PaperPal was started by the Domtar Corporation in February 2016 in response to significant scientific research outlining the benefits of handwriting for children and seniors. More information on the PaperPal program can be found on their website: http://www.paperbecause.com/handwriting.