Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Lost art of writing links generations in Fairfield

pen pals laurel creek 3_11_14

Laurel Creek third-grader Jaheem Mosley-Wallace, left, has a conversation with his pen pal Fred Anderson, right, who is a Paradise Valley Estates resident. Students met with residents, with whom they had exchanged letters, as part of a pen pals program. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | March 17, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — A revived lost art brought Angel Cueva, 8, and Beth Riess, 78, together last week, along with scores of others for spaghetti and meatballs at Paradise Valley Estates.

Third-graders from Laurel Creek Elementary School met Tuesday for lunch with residents of the retirement community after the two generations traded letters as part of a pen pals program that began at the start of the school year.

Angel’s correspondence included his catching crawdads and a question for Riess: What is her favorite sports team?

The 49ers, Reiss answered in her letter.

Instagram, Snapchat and emails take notice. All those electronic words and photos haven’t ended – and have perhaps instead enhanced – the humble, low-tech written letter.

Sara Snyder, who teaches the third-grade class, spoke about the magic that follows when letters arrive at the school from Paradise Valley residents.

“It’s like Christmas morning,” Snyder said. “It’s an hour of excitement.”

“They love it,” she said of the children.

So do people who live at the retirement community. Some are former teachers who thought about what a third-grader would be interested in reading in a letter.

The children, who received ballpoint pens that also work as a flashlight, brought stuffed animals and homemade bookmarks for Paradise Valley residents.

Emily Robinson, who Tuesday sat next to her pen pal Hannah Macak, 9, spoke about how nice it was to meet Hannah. Robinson, who was an only child and doesn’t have grandchildren, said meeting Hannah was wonderful.

Denise Flowerday, life enrichment manager at Paradise Valley, approached the school about her pen pals plan. Sometimes it’s nice to have words on a piece of paper that you can read again, she said.

“It’s a lot more personal,” Flowerday said of a letter rather than an electronic message.

Moreover, the printed word is a chance for children in elementary school to show what they know to an older generation.

“A lot of them,” Flowerday said of Paradise Valley residents, “are very surprised with how smart the kids are.”

For Melody Lopez, mother of 9-year-old Gabriella Lopez, the written word on paper is how people learn.

“We don’t do computers,” she said.

The Internet just arrived this month at the family home and when the Lopez children return from school, they do their homework on paper and read books. That helps explain why Gabriella writes to family members – and why she was able to write a letter about Mount Rushmore, China, Europe, Thailand and Japan to Paradise Valley resident Phyllis Riley, 81.

Those are all places visited by Riley, who wrote about her 6-year-old schnauzer-mix Dickens in her letter to Gabriella.

Gabriella isn’t all business in her letters. She also allowed how chocolate is her favorite ice cream flavor.

Riley told the third-grader she did a great job in her correspondence.

The pen pal program is a chance for them all to get together, said Riley, who lamented the lost art of letter writing.

Lisa Soldati, a teacher who helps mentor new instructors, said, “The thing I like the most is the bringing together of the two generations.”

“You see enthusiasm on both sides,” she said.

Flowerday is all for it.

Some people who live at the retirement community are reluctant to attend events, she said, but the letters from children brought residents to the casual dining room at Paradise Valley.

“They get dressed and they come and they’re having a ball,” the life enrichment manager said.

Flowerday as well found energy from the correspondence exchange. She was having what she called a low-energy day when it was time to take letters from the residents to the third-graders at their school. The joy the children showed in receiving the correspondence turned her day around.

“I walked away high as a kite,” Flowerday said.

Pizza is planned for a visit by Paradise Valley residents to Laurel Creek Elementary that may follow Tuesday’s lunch.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Julie MeyersMarch 17, 2014 - 10:31 am

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story about generations coming together. And what an inspiring undertaking by Paradise Valley's life enrichment leader, Denise Floweday!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano County Fair set to open Wednesday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marketing study looks at Berryessa resorts

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Activity is Medicine program coming to Suisun senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Police arrest suspected intruder

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Big-rig crash shuts down freeway onramp

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Icon sends first A5 into the skies on maiden flight

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B7

Fairfield police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Weather for Wedneday, July 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel’s concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
New California fines for wasting water take effect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Chevron California refinery overhaul up for vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
4 charged with murder in death of USC student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Crews make gains on 2 California wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Body of young stowaway found in US cargo plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Highway, bridge money at risk: Senate to vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Red light camera fate now uncertain in state

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Obscure state agency creates big money problems

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

Some people have missed the drought memo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 12 Comments

 
What kids don’t know would shock you

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 23 Comments

 
Cemetery support committee thanks sponsors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

What to do when ‘it’ hits the fan

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes for July 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

I like Liam, but I think he’s interested in another girl

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
A do-ahead dinner to make back-to-school smoother

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

You too can bake artisanal quality bread at home

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
A healthy afterschool snack that eats like a treat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Entertainment

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Music aside, Queen of Soul is pumped for fair food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 2 Comments | Gallery

.

Sports

Fairfield Indians blank Next Level Athletic to win SRL tournament title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers sign former Cardinals RB Alfonso Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats tie Vacaville Admirals

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

No joke: Kings’ Cousins hopes for Team USA shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Liriano fans 11 in Pirates’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Athletics rally for 6 runs in 9th, beat Astros 7-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Husband arrested in death of NBA player’s aunt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Triple-A brawl results in 11 suspensions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
McDonald’s could be liable for labor practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Food writers subpoenaed in ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Patricia Jo McDonald

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jack L Hudack

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jeanetta M. Hale

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5