BINGHAMTON, NY – A local school district is helping bridge the generation gap between students and senior citizens.

Chenango Valley 3rd graders from 6 classes wrote letters to residents at Elizabeth Church Manor.

125 letters were written in total, meaning every senior received one.

A handful of students were then chosen to read their letters out loud to the residents via video chat.

Chenango Bridge STEAM teacher Stephanie Mika says that it was a great way for the students to connect with someone outside their homes and sharpen their writing skills.

“To be able to write a letter to an elderly person, it might have helped them kinda draw on experiences they might have had with their own family members they might not have been in the nursing home but they could have thought, ‘you know, what kind of questions would I have asked my grandma or grandpa?” says Mika.

Activities Director for Elizabeth Church Manor Kathy Micha says that the residents were overjoyed to receive the notes, some even hanging them on their walls.

“The uplifting, the words of encouragement were great, and our residents were laughing at that. Because they’re thinking these little kids are telling us ‘hang in there you’re gonna do great’ and that’s really kinda like a role reversal, where usually parents are saying that to the kids,” says Micha.

Micha says that while some of the seniors didn’t understand how the video chat worked, one resident and student ended up having a 30 minute conversation.