BANGOR — One of the many hardships of the pandemic was the lack of personal contact for many seniors living at facilities and retirement homes. In many cases, they were sometimes cut off from outside visitors and contact due to various protocols keeping them safe.

The third- and fourth-graders at All Saints Catholic School in Bangor wanted to help ease that struggle in any way they could.

“The students became pen pals with residents at Solstice Senior Living in Bangor,” said Stefanie Duron, a third-grade teacher at All Saints.

Beverly Austin, the activity director at Solstice, contacted the school asking if the students would write letters as a way to make connections for her residents who were feeling lonely during the pandemic.

“The third and fourth graders exchanged letters with their senior pen pals once a week all spring,” said Duron. “They shared stories, memories, drawings, and even Tic-Tac-Toe games.”

On Tuesday, June 1, at 2 p.m., the pen pals, both children and seniors, will get the chance to meet face-to-face outside of the St. Mary Campus on 768 Ohio Street in Bangor.

“The pen pals will enjoy cookies and a chance to meet,” said Duron. “It’s wonderful.”

The program has been so successful that the school hopes to continue it in the months and years to come.

“This is a beautiful way for the students to share their cursive writing skills and learn about an older generation, while sharing their Catholic faith and building relationships in our community,” said Matthew Houghton, principal of All Saints.