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Ridgelines Language Arts Offering Pen Pal Program for Centre Crest Residents

by on June 04, 2020 4:30 PM

Ridgelines Language Arts, a local non-profit that provides expert language arts instruction for some of the most marginalized people in our community, is changing up some of its programs at Centre Crest Nursing Home.

Traditionally, Ridgelines would be taking part in two of its popular in-person programs: A Poem in Our Eyes,” which takes place each spring in Stanton Court, Centre Crest’s memory care unit (taught by Ridgelines Teaching Artist Robyn Passante); and Being Heard, a poetry writing program for all Centre Crest residents (taught by Ridgelines Founding Director Abby Minor). Both programs aim to honor and celebrate the voices and imaginations of central Pennsylvania’s low-income older adults.

 Now, with all non-essential visits to Centre Crest suspended in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Ridgelines is launching a new program, the Being Heard Poetry Pen Pals program, to keep Centre Crest residents engaged with language arts and connected to members of the community.

Volunteer pen pals will be matched with a Centre Crest resident who has signed up for the program; pen pals will exchange regular notes and share favorite poems.

“This program idea grows out of the amazing outpouring Ridgelines received when we asked our mailing list to send letters and poems of support to our Being Heard program participants at Centre Crest back at the end of March," said Ridgelines Founding Director, Abby Minor: "We had folks sending letters from as far away as Arizona; now, we’re looking to create a more ongoing epistolary relationship between community members and residents at Centre Crest.”

This is a new and evolving program, and Ridgelines invites all community members of all ages who are interested in volunteering as a Poetry Pen Pal or want to learn more to reach out to us at: [email protected].

“We want to encourage folks of all ages who have some extra time right now and who might enjoy sharing poems and letters to get in touch with us and sign up to participate,” said Minor. “This program is a powerful opportunity for community members to support some of our region’s low-income older adults during this time of uncertainty and isolation.”



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