It may be hard to imagine that a bunch of energetic kindergartners would eagerly line up to visit a retirement home twice a week, but for one group of students at a B.C. Primary School, it’s become the norm. According to a recent story in The Globe and Mail, every Tuesday and Friday, kids from Eileen Madson Primary School are bused to Columbia Garden Village retirement home, where they participate in regular classroom activities, such as crafting and reading. The seniors who live at the retirement home take on the role of teacher, helping the children to learn the alphabet and reading them stories.
Launched by Rocky Mountain School District superintendent Paul Carriere and wife Barbara, a kindergarten teacher, the initiative is proving to be beneficial to both children and seniors. According to The Globe and Mail report:
As learning partners they’re a good match. Reading, for instance, is a skill often preserved long after age has eroded other mental faculties. And Barbara Carriere says the seniors make for patient teachers, and the children are at ease around them. “They’re just completely accepting of each other,” she said. “It makes for a million magic moments.”
The Carrieres were inspired by a similar program in Jenks, Oklahoma, which was shown to boost literacy skills in the pre-K children who participated in the initiative.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be in favour of your child attending class in a retirement home?