Students in the HHS Medical Academy are connecting with residents of Sun City Huntley to hone their communication skills during the pandemic.

According to Medical Academy teacher Renae St. Clair, communication is a vital skill set for students planning to go into careers in the medical field. But with the pandemic pausing skill-building face-to-face experiences such as the job shadowing and mentoring opportunities that students typically complete, students are exercising a different communication muscle.

The “Pen Pal” program St. Clair has set up is pairing up students with Sun City residents to exchange old-fashioned letters in the mail. It’s a non-technological solution in what is becoming a very high-tech field.

“One of the things our students are lacking right now with all of the technology is the ability to just have a conversation,” St. Clair told the Sun Day News. “And if you’re going into healthcare, that’s what you’re going to be doing, dealing with patients that you’ve never met before.”

Students write letters that first pass through the teacher and then on to residents. Residents can then respond, postage-free, with the teacher again acting as an intermediary.

The program has attracted about 30 students so far, and the school is looking for more volunteer Pen Pals from Sun City. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Renae St. Clair via email at [email protected] or by mail to: Renae St. Clair, Huntley High School, 13719 Harmony Road, Huntley, IL 61341.

Read more about the program in the Sun Day News »