For Mother’s Day, I requested a dessert called “Blarneys” that my grandma Agnes Sazama used to make. This tasty little yellow cake is wrapped in a buttercream frosting and then rolled in peanuts.
I recently re-discovered the recipe in a handwritten letter from my grandma. When I was in my 20s and living in New York City, I had asked her for the recipe. English wasn’t her first language and her note (which excluded punctuation) accompanying the recipe said, “Delishes Ha watch the calories I sure did enjoy tham until I found I had diabetes a person can use any white cake.”
I smiled when I read the note and it brought back memories of the hard-working farm wife, mother of seven children and someone who always made me feel safe.
When Groza Learning Center contacted Circling the News about one of their programs, a creative writing class, they asked: “Will the art of letter writing become a thing of the past? Will our children experience the joy of picking out a beautiful piece of stationary, taking the cap off that favorite pen, gliding it smoothly across the page, addressing the envelope, licking the stamp, dropping it in the mailbox, and patiently waiting for a response?”
Despite the ease and popularity of using videos and screens to communicate with friends and relatives these days, Groza argues that the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the paradigm in a hopeful way. “Many of us have been forced to slow down and have found ourselves with a lot of extra time. The ability to write a proper letter is still essential, and will never go out of style.”
Groza lists the Benefits of Writing:
Improve communication skills
Enhances vocabulary and language skills
Builds concentration and focus
Taking pride in one’s creation
Imagination and Creativity
The learning center, located in the 881 Alma Real building, offers ideas to encourage children to start writing, such as having fun stationery, pens and stickers, writing to a family member or a resident at a local retirement home, finding a pen pal in a different state or country, sending a thank-you letter to local heroes such as firefighters and police officers, writing to a local newspaper or magazine, and creating a time line.
Now is the perfect time for any young students in your household to sharpen their writing skills because the annual Friends of the Palisades Library summer writing contest will get underway in June with the theme “Surprise Us!”
Groza offers a creative writing program. Visit: grozalearningcenter.com or call (310) 454-3731.