Columbus 3rd Graders Write Valentine’s Day Letters to Senior Citizens

Third graders at Columbus Elementary made sure a group of local senior citizens would have a Happy Valentine’s Day.   

Third-grade teacher Jenni Rankin saw a post online about having students write letters to local senior citizens and began thinking about all those individuals in nursing homes and assisted living facilities that have been isolated because of visitor restrictions due the pandemic.  

“I reached out to Stillwater Senior Living in Edwardsville and asked them about my class writing letters to their residents,” she said. “They were very excited about the idea and emailed me a list of names.” 

Once Rankin realized there were 68 residents, she knew she had to find more third-grade classes to participate so that everyone at Stillwater could receive a letter.  

“Mrs. McWhorter’s (Ackerman), Ms. Bailey’s, and Mrs. Musick’s classes all joined my class in writing friendly letters to residents and making them Valentine’s cards.” 

And instead of just creating a card, Rankin turned the project into a lesson.  

“We began the week by learning about the parts of a friendly letter, including the date, greeting, body and salutations or the closing. Students also learned what an assisted living facility is and brainstormed things that the residents might like to hear about in their letters.” 

Each student drew a name, or two, from a cup and then began writing their rough draft letters. 

The next day, they went through the editing process to correct mistakes and spelling errors. They then spent time writing the final draft letters, glued them inside the cards and finally, decorated the cards. 

“All the students were very motivated and excited about this project and I cannot wait to give them to the residents at Stillwater Senior Living.”