Students from Rockwell Elementary School in Bethel recently met their elder pen pals at Candlewood Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center in New Milford.

The third-grade students and residents communicated throughout the school year and met each other June 10 at the skilled care facility.

“I just enjoyed them,” said Jeanette Carroll. “I was overwhelmed with them being so well mannered.”

Betty Trott also appreciated meeting the youth.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful to have the young people come to us and experience meeting all of them,” she said.

Resident Evelyn Burkland said the students were helpful to her.

“I could only use one hand (for our activities together) and they were lovely children,” she said. “They looked over my wheelchair to make sure that they use the right colors (for the art project).”

Interacting with the students stirred memories for some of the residents.

“They brought back the fun that I had with my own grandchildren,” said Doris Corbett.

In addition to the students writing letters to the residents, they teamed up for art projects, including pictures of the pen pals and tile art.

Rockwell teacher Jennifer D’Amico said visiting the center was a special trip.

“It’s my absolute favorite trip of the year,” D’Amico said. “Laughs, smiles, stories, hugs...a beautiful morning. We love our pen pals.”