Students connected with senior citizens through new community outreach program

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The students of the Duanesburg Central School District want the many older adults who have been shuttered in their homes throughout the pandemic to know that someone is thinking of them. The school district has partnered with the Catholic Charities Senior & Caregiver Support Service to put cheerful cards and student-written letters in their hands. 

“It is important for our school to be there for our older community members, just as they support us,” Superintendent of Schools James Niedermeier said. “Showing our gratitude in this way is a simple way to tell them that we care about what they are going through during this very difficult time.”

Duanesburg Elementary School students made more than 100 cards to be shared with senior citizens in the area through the Meals on Wheels and Friendship Cafe programs. Students drew pictures and wrote short, friendly notes. The effort was coordinated under the leadership of the elementary school Student Council with the support of a cardstock donation from a community member.

The Duanesburg Jr./Sr. High School’s National Honor Society started a pen pal program that may connect them with as many as 60 senior citizens. Students introduced themselves in their letters and talked about their interests, wrote short stories and drew pictures. 

“We are so excited to be connected to our community through the new pen pal program, and I know the students are eager to receive returned letters from their penpals,” math teacher and National Honor Society adviser Lisa Della Rocco said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our ability to provide community service in the more traditional sense, so this was a great way for us to connect with our community in a safe way.”