EdConnect has commenced connecting residents of retirement villages with nearby schools to encourage them to sign up as volunteers and provide support in the classroom, library, special programs and through mentoring students at risk of disengagement.
Village Manager, Retirement Living by Lendlease, Chris was keen to build on the connection with the local school, as residents have already shown interest in volunteering there.
“This year, we are all excited to build on this two-way connection and have the wonderful children come into our village and spend time with the residents. We have planned craft activities for the children to make an Easter basket with the help of an older person, and there will be opportunities for students and residents to read and draw together. We also hope the children will sing for us, too,” he said.
Assistant Principal of Altona Primary School, Nicole Fridey said that the value of bringing young people and older people together cultivates a sense of purpose and enriches all participants:
“Altona Primary School highly values its ongoing partnership with EdConnect Australia and the weekly support of its current volunteers. Our Grade 2 Team was pleased to extend this partnership making further connections within the local community with Grade 2 students writing Christmas cards and now planning to visit the Port Phillip Village residents at the Easter party,” she said.
On the 22nd March, a class of 24 Year 2 students from Altona Primary School walked to the local village with teachers.
The students had written and made books about themselves to share with the residents. One of our volunteers Mauren (who is an author) loved the idea of planting a seed of reading with the children so they would also enjoy reading, writing and potentially be authors.
Resident Nadia read a story to all the students which really got the group really excited. Nadia has since applied to be a volunteer with EdConnect!
The students sang a song to the residents and the event ended with a surprise visit from the easter bunny, who was a resident at the village and their resident easter bunny!
A representative from Lendlease Retirement Living said that this event would be the talking point for residents for months and felt for some residents it could be their highlight for the year!
The event was amazing event and the village, school and EdConnect are planning another event for later in the year!
To find out more about EdConnect Australia, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 668 550.