McAdam Avenue Elementary School students have been teaming up with Grade 12 leadership students from Leo Hayes High School to visit with residents at the York Care Centre in Fredericton as part of a multi-age experiential learning project.
When the buses rolled in on June 3 for their last visit this school year, the residents were happy to see them. The students presented each of the residents with framed photographs to remember them by as well as a stained glass ornament to hang in the window of their room.
"The thing the students like the most is seeing the residents smile and getting to know them," Principal Cynthia Burnett said. "Having their big buddies (from LHHS) has made it even better to help bridge that gap with communication. It's been lots of fun for everyone involved. It's really great when they recognize they make someone else happy just by being here."
Burnett said the project taught her students global competency skills such as relationship building, empathy, respect and communication. They will each write a story about what they learned from the experience.
Each school brought 20 students together for the project starting in March 2019. They joined forces to make two visits to York Care Centre where they played bingo with the residents, made slime with them, and shared some lunch, cake and refreshments. The students also got together at Leo Hayes High to make their gifts for the residents prior to their last visit to the nursing home.
"I enjoyed it and don't mind hanging out with people from different generations," said Garrett Doucette, a Grade 12 students from Leo Hayes. "You learn how to have a conversation, work with younger peers, and be open to other people."
Nursing home resident Brett Robertson said he made some new friends while socializing with his new school pals.
"It's nice to be able to talk to young people again," Robertson said. "I like rappin' with the youngsters and teaching them stuff. These kids should get all As."
Josh Collins, a teacher at Leo Hayes High, said it's good for students to "get out of the high school bubble and see how life goes."
"It's good for them to come here and get another life experience," Collins explained. "It gives them another perspective about working with seniors and elementary school students. They were the common ground between the two age groups."
The project was made possible through a grant from iHub Learning Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovative education in the Anglophone public education sector of New Brunswick.
Shown in the photos below are (1) (left to right) Braxton Robinson, Grade 3 student at McAdam Avenue Elementary with Principal Cynthia Burnett and York Care Centre resident Viola Munn; (2) (left to right) Resident Ellen Saunders-Aube, Ben Young, Grade 12, Leo Hayes HIgh School, Aidan Williamson James Power, Grade 4, McAdam Avenue School, Mikayla Annis, summer student working at York Care Centre, resident Linda Bird, Mitchell Kean, Grade 12, Leo Hayes High, and Gabriella Drost, Grade 2, McAdam Avenue School.