Nicole O’Reilly’s class from Ecole Central Elementary is spending their Fridays with seniors at Heritage Manor. Here are stories and thoughts from several students below as well as a video slideshow. Intergenerational Learning is one of our identified root causes of success in our school district and a strategy to help our students become the Best For the World.
Intergenerational learning sets sail in Fort Saint John! École Central Elementary class taught by Nicole O’Reilly heads over to Heritage Manor 2 to visit with the seniors. Every Friday the kids get a FREE bus ride over to the senior’s home. Once they arrive they are set free to talk to the seniors.
The first day, the kids got to walk around and just get to know their new pals. They also had little activities that they could do, like reading, playing crib or a nice game of cards, pictionary, karaoke and a huge tub of play dough that the kids played with for hours.
Reading was great for many kids, not only did the kids read but luckily the seniors did too! The kids would read to the seniors and the seniors would either enjoy it or fall asleep on the spot. For the other activities the seniors just liked to watch, and that was just fine.
The next week when the kids came back to visit was very different. Nicole set up a chart of activities, like gym, English, Social studies, reading and games. The first thing one of the groups did was set out to read with one of the seniors. Next was gym, and that’s when a group of kids went to the little gym that they have and showed the seniors a routine. Not to hard yet not to easy. The kids were amazed by how active the seniors were!
Participants were Daloris, 2 of the 3 Gladys’s, Bob and many others. The kids hope to get more participants as they get to know them.
Once that group has finished with the routine they are allowed to have some free time. Some played instruments with the seniors, some just talked and some played games. Nicole called out to them to come set tables. Only a few were needed so the others just carried on with their work. Once the table’s were set the children could either sit with friends or sit with the seniors, but only if the table wasn’t full. The seniors are always served with yummy looking food, the children don’t get to be served, but they don’t really care.
After lunch another group of kids gets to clean up. Amazingly they all put their hands up to do it; there isn’t one kid that doesn’t want to help! As the one group cleans up the children from the first group gets to work on their English and Social studies. Every week they get a different activity.
As you can see the children enjoy this very much, and so do the seniors. It is a great way to bond with others. Without this the children would be thinking that the seniors are just old and grumpy people, but that is 100% wrong. None of them are grumpy! Also without this the seniors would think that kids are no do gooders and that they never do what their told, but that is also 99% wrong!
Birds eye view: I am one of the students who participated with this project. The first day was fun and yet strange in both ways. Although we made great friends in short time we could also see that in their eyes they were sort of, worried. I know they saw it in our eyes to. Some were too shy to come out. Others were there from the beginning to the end, like Ralph. He told us many stories, some sad and some happy, but the sad stories never seemed sad to us because he had an amazing sense of humor! In fact, all of them had a different sense of humor once we got to know them!
Every Friday our class has been going to the senior home. I am so glad our teacher decided to bring us. One of my favorite parts of Fridays are when we are allowed to go anywhere in the senior’s home and see if anyone wants to visit. It is especially fun to read to the seniors. I was surprised by how many seniors actually waited and expected us the next week. Some of them are also so funny. They all enjoyed the first day when we bought them ice cream. Going to the Heritage Manor I and II are definitely a highlight of the year.
In Ben’s opinion about this whole seniors hanging out with the youth every Friday he thinks it’s…
Fun, the seniors have lots of enthusiasm especially when you’re just talking with them in your free time. He was especially impressed when the seniors got up and did their workout routine. It was great to read with the seniors. He says the first time his class went there he said it felt awkward and out of place but the second time the class went he says that they had a certain bonding that brought them closer together.
In Eli’s opinion he thought…
It’s a great way for intergenerational bondage. He thought it was a great way to get out of school. He says their stories are very interesting and it’s fun to go into their rooms and discuss about their childhoods. The first time he went he felt out of place. The following times he felt very comfortable and it felt like that was the place to be.
He thinks it’s really fun. He didn’t think it was that fun to start with though. He says the first day was a little uncomfortable. He says that their second visit was much more fun. He says more seniors came to visit on the second day because it was quieter and more organized. He says it’s interesting to hear what stuff was like when they were kids and to hear their stories.