This is such a joyous time of year for many, but often times, our seniors are left without anyone to spend the holidays with. As patrons of our history, they deserve to have beautiful laughter-filled holidays, too, and the grade seven and eight students at Sacred Heart School in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada are making this happen in the most delightfully bookish way.
Megan Vanstone, teacher at Sacred Heart, decided that her class was going to spend some time visiting and getting to know Creighton Lodge residents. Some folks living here are in their 90’s, and all of them like to talk about their memories.
The children listened to these stories, and then turned them into personalized Christmas presents. This is so heart-warming, my own heart has grown two sizes:
“Legacy books” are what these kind students wrote. Megan Vanstone spoke to CBC Radio about the class project. In her interview, she said:
“I thought it would be a great opportunity for our kids to get to know some seniors in the community. It just turned into something that I really couldn’t have anticipated.”
The project took a few months, where the children and the elderly shared time and stories while creating friendships. Recently, the children presented the seniors with their beautiful legacy books. These young minds had plenty positive to say about this experience, too!
“One of the things I learned from [my grandmother] is that you don’t need a phone or technology to do something fun.”
– Keira Phillips (CBC Radio)
Keira was fortunate enough to make her own grandmother Josephine, a handcrafted book. Keira was very grateful for her grandmother’s patience, and she even learned a thing or two in the process.
“I think one of the things I learned from her is that you don’t need a phone or technology to do something fun,” she said. “That’s a lot of work to come down and visit with us a lot. [We] ask so many questions and sometimes you don’t want to do that all the time.”
Twelve year old Keira’s grandmother is also said to have loved the book. Megan Vanstone told CBC Radio that she hopes the legacy book project can continue in future years. This is the type of idea we can all get behind! Thank you Megan, for restoring a little faith in humanity, while teaching the next generation how important our seniors are.
Too often we forget about the social needs of our senior citizens. Interactions with youth are especially beneficial in lifting spirits and keeping their minds sharp as tacks. Did you know that some communities have even started mixing daycare centers with retirement residences? The socialization between seniors and tots is truly precious. While this combo is currently rare, many daycare centers in Canada take their classes to visit seniors once in a while to perform mini-concerts that are always met with smiling faces.
The holidays are a great time to give back to the seniors in your community. Perhaps you can visit a retirement residence, or home, and read a few chapters of your favorite book to them, or simply have a conversation. I guarantee you will be appreciated!
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Featured image via The Christ School