Tuesday, April 28, 2015
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 [email protected]

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

Explore habitat of bats at special Solano-Yolo event

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

 
Dollar Tree settles illegal dumping case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

 
Man walks to bring awareness to need for divorce reform

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘The Mask You Live In’ set for Vacaville premiere

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Woman reported missing in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: | Gallery

Caltrans reminds motorists of Highway 12 bridge work

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Thor, Iron Man, Captain America return to movie screens

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

Chambers plans Cinco de Mayo celebration

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A7

 
Rio Vista to celebrate endive once again

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7

Full slate of events on tap in downtown Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Fairfield police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Riot, looting prompt state of emergency, curfew in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Loretta Lynch sworn in as new US attorney general

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

GOP defense budget challenges Obama on Ukraine, Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Senate expands community colleges’ reach on sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tuna company, 2 employees charged in death of worker in oven

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woman convicted of murder after young daughter disappeared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay protest at US Embassy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cash handoffs, extortion fuel Mediterranean trafficking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in woman’s shooting arrested after 5-hour standoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High court rejects appeal from protester at military base

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Study blames global warming for 75 percent of very hot days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California teen confesses to fatally stabbing 9-year-old boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

New Ellis Island center to complete US immigration story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US, Japan boost defense ties with eyes on China, NKorea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing off Alabama coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tiny California tribe turns to adoption to boost revenue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Yemen’s exiled government declares 3 disaster zones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tuesday’s the day: Gay marriage arguments at Supreme Court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prosecutor: 2 exams found James Holmes to be sane

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Judge won’t delay order on inmate sex reassignment surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UN: Israeli military killed 44 Palestinians at UN shelters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thousands attend funeral for Freddie Gray in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Time for multiple-county tourism, arts, downtown project

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What’s Marco Rubio’s secret?

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Jayne Meadows, actress and TV personality, dies at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Winehouse family criticizes ‘misleading’ movie about singer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Singer Jamie Barton wins the ‘Heisman Trophy’ of music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Kim Kardashian: supports Bruce Jenner’s gender transition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rushdie chastises authors protesting Hebdo tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
It’s nail-biting time on Broadway ahead of Tony nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

‘Black-ish’ creator set to write ‘Good Times’ movie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Don Mankiewicz, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, dies at 93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Salma Hayek hopes ‘The Prophet’ inspires new generations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

 
Dodgers pitcher McCarthy out for season with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks near agreement to extend lease in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head into draft in need of receiver, pass rusher

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pacquiao, Roach scheme on plan for Mayweather’s defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A new format, more golf for all at Match Play

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Orioles’ game in Baltimore postponed due to safety concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to stay sharp while waiting for 2nd round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kerr wins Rudy Tomjanovich Award from Pro Basketball Writers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cards ace Adam Wainwright out for season with torn Achilles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Owner Ahmed Zayat takes aim at Kentucky Derby with 3 horses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Equestrian aims for more nations competing at Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cavaliers move on without Love, out with dislocated shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Redskins to pick up 5th-year option on Robert Griffin III

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rare Honus Wagner baseball card sells for $1.32 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Arrest warrant sought for UFC champ in hit-and-run crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hamilton given back to Texas after troubled Angels stint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
89-year-old former Kansas player scores in alumni scrimmage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Arena talks underway in Seattle suburb with eye on hockey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vegas sets up ‘concentric’ security for upcoming megafight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Packers will retire Favre’s jersey on Thanksgiving

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies G Mike Conley has facial surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Peterson absent but still wanted back by Vikings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Ex-executive gets prison for $27M insider trading scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High court to consider lawsuits over personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Discover discovers Apple Pay for its US cardholders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
With economy uncertain, no Fed rate hike is seen before fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Change to Greek bailout negotiating team fuels market hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Burger King heats it up with spicy Whopper and sales surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Forget the watch: Apple’s iPhones are still the main event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Truckers at huge seaport complex strike; impact minimal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

ESPN suing Verizon over unbundling of its sports channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Industry tries to block genetically modified food labeling

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4