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Island Lake Public School hosts Grandpals Gala at Lord Dufferin Centre

June 29, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Students, parents, Lord Dufferin Centre staff, and residences celebrating the unveiling of Island Lake Public School’s Grandpals Gala. The project saw the school’s grade four and five students interacting with residences of the centre, learning not only about their lives, but life in general, from the Great Depression and the Second World War. The project is designed to get kids active in the community and bridge generational gaps.

By Jasen Obermeyer

Island Lake Public School unveiled their Grandpals Gala Project at Lord Dufferin Centre (LDC) Tuesday, celebrating an 11-week project that saw student’s interacting and learning with seniors of the centre.

Originally developed at Montgomery Village Public School six years ago, Grandpals has now expanded to Island Lake PS and Spencer Avenue Elementary School. The project is service-learning, a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. This form of learning brings together critical thinking and personal reflection, encouraging students to gain a sense of community, civic engagement, and personal responsibility.

At the LDC Tuesday afternoon (June 20), 52 grade four and five students unveiled their 11-week project. For nine weeks, the students interacted with 16 seniors, each week filling out a questionnaire, focusing on specific life themes, such as family, work, war, and being a Canadian. The students then unveiled their presentations for the residents’ biographies.

“Every week the residents would beam when they see the kids coming in. The kids came in with flowers, with gifts, they played games with them, got to know them… they learned so much, as well as the seniors,” says Esther Mitchell, LDC’s activities and program director.

She explained how everyone benefited. The seniors adapted to using an iPad and texting, while the students got to learn about history, such as what life was like during the Great Depression and the Second World War. “Gives them some thought of what they’re doing, and to stop and think about what the residents’ life was like. Just be a little more grateful and thankful.”

She says even though there is a big age and generational gap, the project and the interaction helped bridge it, and the students and seniors found common ground. “They all like playing cards, they all like playing shuffle board, they all like watching movies. So even though there’s 80 years difference, there’s still a lot they have in common.”

         

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