Cataline Elementary School Grade 6 student Brendan Haberlin and his senior buddy Jessie Voth chat at the Seniors Village barbecue Wednesday to celebrate the end of an integenerational project.

Cataline Elementary School Grade 6 student Brendan Haberlin and his senior buddy Jessie Voth chat at the Seniors Village barbecue Wednesday to celebrate the end of an integenerational project.

Intergenerational project marks third year of sharing

Sitting close beside each other in lawn chairs Brendan Haberland and Jessie Voth exchanged smiles.

Sitting close beside each other in lawn chairs Brendan Haberland and Jessie Voth exchanged smiles.

The two have become friends this year through an intergenerational project in Williams Lake.

Haberland is a Grade 6 student at Cataline Elementary School. In October his class began meeting with seniors at Williams Lake Seniors Village, where Voth has lived for about one year.

“She’s a kind buddy,” Brendan said as he looked over toward Voth. “And she’s very fit, considering how old she is.”

Leaning in toward him Voth revealed that she is 86.

“That’s not old,” he said. “I think 100 is old.”

Touching his shoulder, she smiled, and told him, “thank you very much.”

For the month of October, the Grade 6 class attended school every day at Seniors Village.

They return in May for three weeks and were back and forth between the school and Seniors Village throughout the year, Seniors Village recreation co-ordinator Janet Catalano said.

Voth said she was glad she participated in the program.

“We’ve meshed. He feels like my grandson,” she said of Haberland.

Ivy Inemark who will be 89 on July 4 was matched up with Paris Masters, but felt like she had four buddies because she interacted with them all the time.

“We had a lot of fun playing cards,” Inemark said. “They are wonderful girls. All the kids are. They are so very polite.”

It was the first time Karl Anhalt, 82, had a buddy and participated in the project.

He loved all the students, he said.

“I told them stories about my youth, growing up in Germany during the war.”

Anhalt’s buddy Nathan Preston enjoyed Anhalt’s stories.

“Karl said he was always scared,” Nathan said. “Walking along the streets he often saw dead people.”

Cynthia Morris, 67, said she learned from the experience.

“As you get older you forget about what it’s like for youngsters growing up.”

Teacher Steve Dickens has led his class in an intergenerational project for three years in a row and said  the program gets better and better every year.

The relationships seem more natural and the routines are easier to follow, he explained.

“It’s kind of nice because the longer I do this, the more apparent the impacts are. What were subtle nuances the first year aren’t that subtle now,” Dickens said.

On Wednesday the students arrived with small painted birdhouses they’d made at Scout Island to leave at Seniors Village as a reminder they’d been there this year.

They joined the seniors for a barbecue with hotdogs, chips, cake, and copious amounts of water because it was a warm day.

Senior Nancy Friesen and student Liam Lauren huddled together to look at a photo display that depicted some of the year’s activities.

Across the outdoor eating area, Trevor Jacques helped his buddy 99-year-old Anna-May Kalloch get comfortable in her chair before she ate her lunch.

As he looked around proudly Dickens said each year the dynamics change because different students and seniors are involved, but the impacts remain the same.

“It’s all about the influence of the young on the old and vice versa,” he suggested.


Just Posted

Fraser Health registered nurse Kai Kayibadi draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. To reduce long lines and wait times the first 1,000 Surrey residents to arrive at the neighbourhood clinic on both Monday and Tuesday will receive wristbands and a same-day appointment. The effort is in addition to the provincial vaccination plan which is now open for bookings to anyone who is 18 years and older. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
69 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Interior Health

The province, in total, recorded 411 new cases showing a downtrend of new infections

Bella Coola Valley. (Scott Carrier photo)
Nuxalk Nation closes recreation, sports fisheries at Bella Coola due to COVID-19 concerns

Nobody is supposed to be travelling, said marine use manager Peter Siwallace

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor at the United Nations Global Compact on Oceans, as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, pulls up some sugar kelp seaweed off the French coast in April 2020. He was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival. (Vincent Doumeizel/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

Most Read