A sense of who we are as 4 years old in our community begins at home, continues at school, and branches out into other venues. As I become a senior adult myself and love to be surrounded by children; it only seems natural that others might feel the same way. So we have partnered with a Senior Adult village in our community for a year-long project. The children have given me their approval that this project is valuable.
This project brings two strong and powerful groups together in a learning experience about community, friendship, and empathy. For some senior adults and students this project will shake their comfort zones. Seniors will reflect back about what life was like when they were children. Students will project forward about what life might be like in the future when they are older. What powerful reflections and projections for senior adults and children!
On our first trip to Grand Oaks, we met with a group of residents to do beading. Three students participated in this phase of the project. As always there is a settling in time when everyone is feeling everyone out. These two groups are strangers to each other in almost every way. But slowly as they begin to select beads, colors, and themes for necklaces and bracelets, they begin to let their guards down. They peek up and make eye contact and go back to their work. I hear one lady ask a child if he might help her pick out red beads for her necklace since she can’t see very well. He immediately responds with an overwhelming, enthusiastically positive, “Yes!” And a spark ignites the beginning of what might be a friendship. Remember we can only imagine where this project might lead.
We have one documentation panel up in our room about this project. Please take time to view it, reflect upon it, discuss it at home, and anticipate the magic of where we might go with this.