#myncstory – Niagara College Recreation Therapy program’s Pen Pal Project

#myncstory – Niagara College Recreation Therapy program’s Pen Pal Project


(light music) (light music) – This is our pen pal project, which is a major assignment,
that’s connected with our Applied Positive Strategies course in Therapeutic Recreation. The very first week of the course, I told them about the project, and how they were gonna
be writing a letter to a resident in long term care, and excitement, enthusiasm. They were pumped. – We found out at the
beginning of the term that we were gonna be
writing with a pen pal for a course of four weeks. Starting off, they wrote us
a letter about themselves and then from there, we
learned to connect with them. – In the letters, the
kids asked me questions about my life and I asked
questions about their life, and we just spoke to each other like that. (light music) – So the idea was to bring
two generations together through a pen pal project, putting pen to paper,
something that our residents are very familiar with as a past practice, in the way that they used to communicate with loved ones, family and
friends, generations ago. – So what I think it
does is a couple things, I think it addresses
some of the soft skills. We’re preparing them with
all of the hard skills, all the practical things to do, when they’re out in the field but the human connection piece, the ability to effectively
communicate with people. So a lot more of those, things that you don’t
teach out of a textbook. – I always knew I wanted
to work with seniors. But when you actually
get to work with them, while learning, everything
comes together so much more because you get the
background of the education but you also get to apply it. I feel so good about this one assignment and to know that this
is going to be my job in the future, I’m ecstatic. I couldn’t ask for a
better field to be in, knowing that this is how I’m
going to feel on a daily basis, that I’m making other
people feel this way. – And I wouldn’t have
thought that kids of this age would be interested in what
an 87 year old has got to say. And it made me feel that
life was worth living again.

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