The Hamilton Township School District and Hamilton Township municipal government have launched a program that puts a modern twist on the old activity of being pen pals.

The initiative is aimed at connecting senior citizens in Hamilton Township with students in the township’s public schools while most people are isolated at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior citizens will write a letter to students, with letters to be exchanged via email in

order to limit health risks. Seniors will submit their writings via email to hamnjseniors@gmail.com. All emails will be reviewed prior to submission to the school district for distribution.

Senior citizens should indicate which grade level they would like to correspond with: Elementary School (5-11 years old), Middle School (11-13 years old) or High School (14-18 years old). The school district requested that adults writing letters be mindful of any content you share, adhering to age appropriate topics. Recommended subjects include arts and culture, exercise, favorite TV shows, hobbies, life during your childhood, movies, music, pets, and places you’ve visited.

HTSD students will respond to the letter. The district said responses may be an email, picture story, photo of a drawing or a poem.

Parents of students must provide permission for their child to participate in the program. All student responses will be submitted using a Google Form. Responses will be read, reviewed and forwarded to the Hamilton Township Senior Center coordinator Olivia Barthelson.

For more information, contact Hamilton Township Senior Center coordinator Olivia Barthelson at obarthelson@hamiltonnj.com or Laura Geltch with the Hamilton Township School District at lgeltch@hamilton.k12.nj.us. Information can also be found online on the school district’s website.