MONTREAL, MARCH 15, 2011--- Dunrae Gardens Elementary School in Town of Mount Royal (TMR). hosted 20 local senior citizens at its first ever Intergenerational event on March 11.
The event was held in conjunction with TMR and began with an afternoon tea and dessert reception, courtesy of the Dunrae Gardens Home & School Association. The visiting seniors, who live at a number of T.M.R.-based seniors’ residences, had their refreshments served by 14 specially selected student ambassadors, who also interacted with their guests in a friendly, social manner. It continued with presentation of the play “Story Wars,” which was watched by the seniors and the school’s entire Grades 4, 5 and 6 student population. The play, which is produced expressly for elementary schools by the Montreal theatrical troupe Geordie Productions, tells the story of a pair of fraternal twins who are sent to their room after a fight and as their punishment, have to create a story together. The result is a tale of adventure on a grand scale that brings together some the greatest legends and figures in Greek Mythology.
Many of the seniors who attended the event have grandchildren who are students at Dunrae Gardens. “What a wonderful idea,” said Suzanne Pratt, whom one of her grandsons is a Grade 5 student at the school. “The children were so well behaved. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.”
Another senior who attended the event was June Laws, who graduated from Dunrae Gardens back in 1947, when the school still accommodated Grade 7 students. “The afternoon has been a lot of fun,” she said. “I haven’t been here since I graduated; the school certainly has gotten bigger in size since then.”
CTV News reporter Aphrodite Salas was also present, interviewing seniors and students for a report that aired on CTV News that evening. As well, they were paid a visit by Flik, the official mascot of the Montreal Police Department.
“I believe it’s a wonderful opportunity for Dunrae Gardens to embark on its first inter-generational project with its T.M.R senior citizens. I am sure that this rewarding experience will enrich the lives of everyone involved, students and seniors alike, as we continue to strengthen our partnership with our community,” said principal Darlene Kehyayan. “The students will have the occasion to be exposed to the seniors’ wisdom, knowledge and their life experiences and the seniors will be enlightened by the students’ exchange. Our school is very excited with this special project and we look forward to having future events with our T.M.R. community senior citizens.”
The EMSB is expanding its Intergenerational programming this year thanks to a grant from the Foundation for Vital Aging.