Students Bond with Elders at Local Nursing Home

A Junior Cluster student in Mrs. Jose's class shares advice from a resident during their partner activity.

The students in Mrs. Jose’s Junior Cluster class at Lakeshore Intergenerational School have had a tremendous time visiting residents at BraeView Care and Rehabilitation Center. These monthly visits create a setting in which students and elders are able to form meaningful connections and relationships.

“At first I didn’t know what to expect, but when I got to know them I found out they were very nice,” says a Developing Stage student.

Students and residents are brought together by a multitude of activities that are planned by their teacher and facility’s Activity Director throughout the year. The goal is to promote social interaction that benefits both students and residents alike. They may complete a small project together, read together, or teach each other something new. In this way, they begin to learn about each other's life experiences, uncovering similarities that help form strong, personal bonds.

“I found out we both like Star Wars and chocolate! We also like the same kinds of books,” exclaims a student.

“I learned we both come from big families, which is pretty cool,” adds another.

As relationships are formed over time, residents often provide guidance and words of wisdom that our students value and remember. It is a wonderful example of how beneficial intergenerational experiences are for both children and elders.

“Ms. Donna tells me to be good in school and not to quit when things are hard,” shares a reflective Junior Cluster student. “She can relate to my problems. I like talking to her.”

These are the connections that teacher Rachel Jose looks forward to observing and nurturing each month.

“Their transformation during visits is hard to put into words. They show kindness and respect in ways that are instinctual. I’ve seen even the most hesitant of students participate more confidently than they might in our typical classroom setting. I can see their excitement. When they work with their partners they are attentive and totally focused on them.”

These moments would not be possible without our Intergenerational Partners. We are so thankful for the dedication shown by the staff at BraeView Care and Rehabilitation Center. They have been gracious hosts to our students and we look forward to seeing what the rest of this school year will bring.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 7:00 PM, 11.07.2016