Thursday, August 21, 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

Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 7 Comments

Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

 
Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9