Seniors and young students came together in a touching act of remembrance on Friday at the Seniors Village Remembrance Day ceremonies.
In attendance were the residents of the care home as well as their “buddies” from Cataline Elementary School’s Grade 5/6 class. Teacher Steve Dickens said when they presented the kids with the idea of having a joint Remembrance Day ceremony, “everyone wanted to jump in and help.”
The students of Dickens’ class already have a special connection to the residents of the Seniors Village as part of the Intergenerational Immersion project. The project, explained Seniors Village recreation manager Trish Schachtel, sees that “everybody gets a senior buddy.”
The kids are paired up with residents living in the home, on top of spending seven weeks out of the year having classes at the Seniors Village instead of in their regular classroom at Cataline Elementary.
Dickens noted that the project really “builds connections and relationships with the elderly community,” while adding that when he asks the kids what they like about the project they always say, “they love their buddy and seeing it is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”
The 27 students learn about living with dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as how to deal with grief, said Schachtel. They build loving relationships with their buddies and that was abundantly clear on Friday morning, as children hugged and supported their buddies throughout the ceremony.
Children and seniors alike sang in an enthusiastic choir and three students were on hand for the wreath laying ceremony.
Dane Christianson was one of the student Masters of Ceremony at the event and said that “it was pretty great being here” to support and remember with the seniors. He even went so far as to say that the intergenerational project was really fun.