After three years together, in May 2018 we bid farewell to our first group of Pen Pals at a dinner with a festive graduation cake. On October 4, 2019, we greeted our new group of 20 sixth-grade Pen Pals, again, girls from CCMS – Cornelia Connelly Middle School, East Fourth Street, New York City.
The Pen Pal program matches Sisters with students who write to each other throughout the year. The program’s goal is to provide mentoring and support to girls from at-risk families. This year, 20 of our Sisters participated.
On arrival, the girls were welcomed by Sisters and staff, and then departed for a walk to the nearby greenhouse on the Hartsdale Park Preserve. They were fascinated by hickory nuts on the paths—a real discovery for city girls! Then at Mass they joined in our hymns, singing without benefit of music books.
At a picnic dinner of hot dogs, corn, salads and a finale of Klondike Bars they asked Chef Bob to come home with them to cook at school! Sisters and students shared ideas, hopes, dreams—learning from each other—young and old together.
Before leaving the girls sang “Jubilate Deo” (in three parts) and we listened with delight. A final song with gestures and prayerful gusto earned a grand bravo and long applause. Time to say goodbye at the front door with cameras clicking and happy faces smiling.
Now we wait for letters and another visit! Yes, we, young and old do really learn together.