It was a Valentine’s Day event that spanned generations.
Students met with elders at a brunch event at the Williams Lake Seniors Village Wednesday, for a unique Valentine’s date.
The Valentine’s Breakfast with Your Buddy waffle bar saw students serve the elders, and pass the time in conversation.
Students from Cataline Elementary School’s Intergenerational Immersion program spent the morning with their “buddies,” seniors in the Williams Lake Seniors Village.
The students from the Grade 5/6 class fetched waffles for their buddy and spent the breakfast sharing stories.
“It’s fun,” said Verna Dennis, who was sitting with her precocious buddy Rem Isnardy and a senior not part of the program, Peggy Williams. “It’s wonderful having kids around, with all my grandchildren far away, so it’s nice to have them here.”
“Verna is a fun partner, she’s nice,” said Rem, before launching into a story about their favourite cartoon characters (his is Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a Walt Disney character that predates Micky Mouse).
“He asked me about all these movies and of course I grew up without a TV,” said Verna. “Twice I went to silent movies as a young person.”
Isnardy is also a self-described history buff.
“It’s a thrill to be connected with people who lived here before World War II. I ask Verna questions about World War II.”
While Verna said she doesn’t remember much about the First World War, that doesn’t stop Rem from asking questions.
While Peggy is not part of the buddy program this year, she has been in the past and the chance to connect with the students is delightful.
“I enjoy it thoroughly.”
During October and May, the students attend classes at the Seniors Village itself, and in-between they attend events like the waffle bar to keep the relationship going.
“You can’t put a price on it for the seniors,” said Tammy Deausy, the marketing manager at the village. “They love the kids and it gives them something to look forward to.”
As for why Valentine’s Day?
“A lot of our seniors’ loved ones have passed and so it gives them a day to celebrate still.”
The event was full of energy as students served waffles and chatted with their buddies.
After a spirited conversation between Verna and Rem about changing the lyrics of the O’ Canada (Rem thinks they should keep “In all thy sons command,” and Verna mentioned how much she loved the old anthem, the Maple Leaf Forever), students started to clean up, help their seniors to other parts of the building, and headed back to class at Cataline.