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Pen pal program pairs CCRC with elementary school

May 5, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Residents at Holly Creek Retirement Community talked, read and snacked with their new pals, who also sang a few songs.

Seniors recently met their pen pals from Cherry Hill Christian School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. They’ve been writing letters and sending pictures to each other throughout the school year.

"I get to meet her and get to talk to her," says nearly 8-year-old Sam Jones says to local NBC affiliate 9news.

Jones’ pen pal, Patty Jo Tharp, was equally excited.

"I just love it. I just love kids. I used to be a school teacher," Tharp says.

The elementary school and retirement community have exchanged letters for four years. April Henderson, director of community life at Holly Creek, says the program helps residents feel younger and connected to the community.

Jones sent Tharp a card for Easter because he worried she doesn’t have enough family around. He says he plans to write and visit Tharp even after the school year is over. "You know that we’ll be friends for a long time," Jones tells Tharp.

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