2012 Dunrae Gardens Intergenerational Event!

For their second annual Inter-Generational Event which took place on February 28, Dunrae Gardens School in Town of Mount Royal (T.M.R.) hosted 20 local senior citizens for a journey to the Land of the Rising Sun.

The idea for the Japanese-themed Inter-Generational Event evolved last November, when the grade 5 students of Ms. Botelho’s English class read the storybook “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” The book is based on the true story of Sadako Sasaki, an 11-year-old girl from Hiroshima, Japan who died from leukemia in October of 1955, 10 years after an atomic bomb was dropped on her hometown by an American bomber, which helped bring an end to World War II.  When she was diagnosed with her illness, young Sadako decided to make 1000 paper cranes as a symbol of her fight to live. Nearly 60 years later, Sadako’s 1000 paper cranes have become a wordwide peace movement.

The event began in a classroom, where the visiting seniors were taught by a group of specially selected student ambassadors how to make their own paper cranes through the Japanese paper folding method of origami.  Afterwards, both students and seniors proceeded to the gymnasium, where a pizza lunch, along with tea and dessert -- courtesy of the Dunrae Gardens Home & School Association -- were served to the seniors by the student ambassadors, many of whom were dressed in traditional Japanese costumes. After the meal, the seniors were treated to a traditional Japanese fan dance presentation accompanied by a popular hip-hop song from Japan, followed by a performance of an ancient folk song that was sung entirely in Japanese. It was followed by a performance of “The Story of Sadako,” an adaptation of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” which was done by  Montreal theatrical troupe Geordie Productions for the seniors and the school’s entire grade 4, 5 and 6 student population.

The 2nd Annual Inter-Generational Event at Dunrae Gardens was held in conjunction with the city of T.M.R., especially the T.M.R. Adult Center, the Table des Amis des Aines and the T.M.R. Volunteer Centre, and in association with a partnership between the EMSB and the Foundation for Vital Aging, which for the past two years has been promoting a wide range of programming and activities between EMSB students and seniors residing in the West End of Montreal.