Gallery

2021-2022

School Thanking Linking Generation GrandParent

Hi Jim,

I hope that this email find you well!  We are busy wrapping up our school year…just over 3 weeks to go!

I wanted to share with you a message that our principal is putting in our school newsletter.

Thank you so much for spending time with our class this year!

Have a wonderful summer:)

Lisa

A Visit with One of our Grandparents (Grandma Marion) and Her Students

My last day at Mills Haven, Gr4B was absolutely FANTASTIC.

I was there an hour & 1/4; after meeting in the classroom, we spent our time in the Court Yard on a beautiful sunny & warm Spring Day – Friday, June 3, 2022.

The teacher and students gathered around as I answered many of the submitted questions. I encouraged them to interject with questions that popped in their heads as I was describing various topics. As usual this is a “bright” class with lots of additional thoughts and questions. Some were very familiar with various words – knitting, crocheting, quilting as they had Grandmas that had those hobbies; another student, when talking about chicks, asked if we ever incubated eggs, wanted to know about gathering eggs, my horse riding experiences – and always the topic of dogs (the entire class loves dogs). They wanted to know what “rich” meant back then, transportation and food. Etc Etc Etc.

The time slipped by so quickly. I had said my goodbye as I opened the discussion; told them how good their behaviour always was and how much the visits meant to me & how much I learned from them.

They were anxious to give me their gift – the bean plant (the seed I had planted last month with the class) in a neat pot the kids had decorated with their art work, and a card they had all signed. Overwhelming but oh, so joyful.

I gave each student a Canada Flag that they excitedly received. Then we took class pictures using the flags to discreetly hide their faces. Kids loved it and teacher, Ms Bienert, thought it a great idea.

As the class left the Court Yard to return to classroom, most of the kids voluntarily gave me a HUG – so touching. I like to think we have touched each other’s hearts. ❤️

Ms Bienert and I had a brief but exciting conversation – she truly believes in the Program – and we shared a hug too! 💕

And so ends my visits within the Grandparents Program within the Linking Generations Program.

Thank you for accepting my application and giving me this absolutely wonderfully exciting learning opportunity – I am so thankful for the Great Kids of today!

Pictures to follow

Respectfully Submitted
Grandma Marion

Linking Generations Programs Coming to an End

As our programs come to close for another year, we will cherish our new friendships made this year and look back with memories of the wonderful connections we have made. 

We truly want to thank each student and senior for their commitment and dedication to our program this year. We all know that this year was not a year without challenges, but we pivoted and made sure that both seniors and students remained ‘linked’. 

Thank you to all of our program funders, supporters, partners, seniors and students. You are our success story !

Check out the pictures for the following programs:

  • École Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (OLPH) & Heartland Housing Clover Bar Lodge
  • St. Theresa Catholic School & Bedford Village
  • St. John Paul II Junior High School & Heartland Housing Dr. Turner Lodge

École Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (OLPH) & Heartland Housing Clover Bar Lodge

St. Theresa Catholic School & Bedford Village

St. John Paul II Junior High School & Heartland Housing Dr. Turner Lodge

A Last Visit of the Year with One of our Grandparents and His Students

Bert, one of Linking Generations Grandparents who volunteers at the schools, sent us a wonderful email describing how his visit went with the students.

At 12:30 PM I made my last visit to the classroom at Mills Haven School. When I arrived the class was reading in a darkened room with flash lights. The children appeared to be pleased to see me and I asked them if they would like me to tell them a story about a young boy. I then proceeded to relate a story about a boy who was born and lived in a house on the prairie with dirt floors, no electric light, no running water, no bathtub, no indoor bathroom, no RV, no radio, no telephone and abject poverty. When I told them about the boy’s older siblings, they told me that I was talking about my early life. As usual, they asked many questions and again asked how come I have no hair. I again let them know that it happens to people of an advanced age. I then asked them whether they thought I should wear a wig, they unanimously said ‘yes’. I left a small treat for the students and the teacher and each student and the teacher made a greeting card faced with a collared “wise old owl” on the front. I certainly enjoyed my time with the students and the help from the teachers.
Continued success with the Program, It is as rewarding for the Grandparent as it may be for the students.
Kind regards, Bert

Our First Pen Pal Program is a Huge Success! 

Pen pals (or penpals, pen-pals, penfriends or pen friends) are people who regularly write to each other, particularly via snail mail. Pen pals are usually strangers whose relationship is based primarily, or even solely, on their exchange of letters. 

Students from Archbishop Jordan High School were part of our Pilot Program this year, as we introduced them through letters to seniors living in Aster Gardens Retirement Residences. 20 students wrote letters monthly to their “linked and partnered seniors and the seniors replied back. During the course of the year, our seniors got to know the students remarkably well, and to celebrate our program success, Aster Gardens held an outdoor patio BBQ for the teens and seniors to meet ! 

Seniors and Students simply enjoying Board Games

Playing board games triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. “Happy hormones” have the power to improve conscious and unconscious mind functions, leaving a person feeling cheerful, compassionate, and ultimately content.

Our St. John Paul Junior High students share some laughter and a few winning games of Crib at our recent visit at Dr. Turner Lodge.

A Visit with One of our Grandparents and Her Students

Marianne, one of Linking Generations Grandparents who volunteers at the schools, sent us a wonderful email describing how her visit went with the students.

I was at St. Nicholas yesterday morning 10:30 to noon. I brought 80 red solo cups (we drilled holes in the bottom for drainage), rubber gloves, a large watering can and LOTS of soil. We transplanted tomatoes – and made quite the mess (yes…I cleaned it up). We ended up with 65 plants in total with 6 varieties . The kids seemed to enjoy doing this. Some kids wrote labels on the cups for the variety, some fetched water, some worked the soil and others did the transplanting. At the end of all of this I had 3 kids help me sort the plants by type then had them count the number of each AND do the math to figure out how many plants each student would get. It was a great way to show them why they need to learn math! There are 20 students – so each student will take home 3 plants and they had 5 plants left over to decide who to donate them to (teachers, the Principal, fire fighters, etc.). Tanya was going to do that in the afternoon. The kids were going to take home the plants yesterday or today. I’ve attached pictures to show off their work.

Marianne

What an amazing day for our Grandparent and the students at the school !!

Transplanting the tomatoes
The transplanted tomatoes
Why Math is so important

April Showers Bring Forth May Flowers

École Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (OLPH) & Heartland Housing Clover Bar Lodge

Our Junior High Students from École Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (OLPH) and Seniors from Heartland Housing Clover Bar Lodge shared laughter and stories as they put hands to soil and potted spring flower pots. These special pots remained with the seniors, to watch and enjoy as Spring blossoms in the court yard.

Lakeland Ridge School & Heartland Housing Silver Birch Lodge

Our Students from Lakeland Ridge School paint and create spring flower pots as a surprise gift for their matched seniors. These special gifts are to be dropped off for their linked seniors at Heartland Housing Silver Birch Lodge.

St. John Paul II Junior High School & Heartland Housing Dr. Turner Lodge

Our Junior High Students from St John Paul Middle School and Seniors from Dr. Turner Lodge (Fort Saskatchewan) shared laughter and stories as they put hands to soil and potted spring flower pots. These special pots remained with the seniors, to watch and enjoy as Spring blossoms in their rooms.

Holy Redeemer Junior High and Chartwell Emerald Hills

Our Junior High Students from Holy Redeemer Middle school paint and create spring flower pots as a surprise gift for their matched seniors. These special gifts are to be dropped off for their linked seniors at Chartwell Emerald Hills.

Ecole Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) invited Clover Bar Seniors to a Spring Tea in the school

With seniors continually experiencing outbreaks and not seeing their “linked” students, Ecole Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) invited Clover Bar seniors to a Spring Tea in the school. Linking Generations partnered with Drive Happiness to ensure our seniors arrived at the school safely and in style !

It was a wonderful afternoon, filled with laughter and shared conversation. All of the seniors thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The students really went out of their way to ensure that the “linked” seniors were included in conversations. Thank you to everyone at OLPH and Drive Happiness.

THE CAT IN THE HAT

This classic Dr. Seuss story can open up discussions about trust, responsibility, social expectations, and honesty. Two children, Sally and Sam, are home alone and having a very dreary day. Suddenly, they’re graced with a surprise visit from a stranger, the Cat.

Our Volunteer Grandparent shared the story with her assigned classroom and then led the students in drawing portraits of the cat. After the portraits were drawn, students then completed the pictures by using oil pastels.

Linking Generations Bean Planting Project

This will be a fun project! This year, we have teamed up with Greenland Garden Centre on this initiative.

Our Volunteer Grandparents will have over 300 young students each plant a bean seed. The students will nurture it in the classrooms and watch it grow.

Our volunteer grandparents are teaching the students how to grow their own plant and talk about gardening.

Thank you Jim for sharing the fun and laughter you brought to your assigned classroom at Ecole Pere Kenneth Kearns School (EPK).

Sometimes just visiting makes all the difference !

After creating beautiful Spring Flower Pens, our Linking generations teams shared conversations about “just about anything”.

St. John Paul II Junior High School & Heartland Housing Dr. Turner Lodge

St. Theresa Catholic School & Bedford Village

Yes ! We are playing games TOGETHER !!

What is a board game?

Well, according to the dictionary it is:

plural noun: board games
any game played on a board, especially one that involves the movement of pieces on the board, such as chess or checkers.

Our Volunteer Grandparent teaches students to plant tomatos

Tomato project went ok – the kids enjoyed it. I went through a PowerPoint first to show the kids what they were about to do – that helped. They broke into small groups and shared the responsibilities.

I took their tomatoes home and will care for them while they’re on spring break and will return them when they’re back in school. Once they get large enough I’ll work with the students to transplant them into the cups that you provided (I’ll make holes at the bottom of them for drainage before they transplant). After that they’ll be ready for them to take home. I’m growing a few more tomatoes at home for them just in case some of these don’t come up…don’t want to see disappointed kids.

Volunteer Grandparent with Family from Japan Talk with Students

Hello again. Friday visit was from 9:40ish to about 11:30. I brought my son, daughter-in-law and our 3 grandkids (age 11, 9 and 7) from Japan with me for the visit with the grade 4 class. The students were very excited to meet them and hear Japanese being spoken. Tanya (the teacher) had my grandkids sit at the front of the class on the taller chairs so everyone could see them and ask questions. The students learned how to say hello, thank you, and goodbye in Japanese. They also had lots of questions that my grandkids and/or son/daughter-in-law answered … things like:

  • What video games do you play in Japan
  • What is your classroom like
  • Do you like school
  • Can you have drinks (water, Gatorade) at your desk like we do
  • Do you have Gatorade or other energy drinks in Japan
  • What sports do you do
  • Have you skied / snowboarded (the St. Nicholas students just did that last week for the 1st time) – the students were very surprised to hear that the school in Japan takes their students to ski/snowboard 4 or 5 times year. Mind you, the school is about a 15 minute drive to the ski hill so it’s a tad different. The students were very surprised to hear how close the ski hill was to their school…and a tad jealous

After the Q&A my grandkids handed out treats they brought from Japan which the students were very happy to get and were taking them home as we were now headed off to make Ukrainian Easter bread (paska) in the teacher’s lounge. We went with the students too and everyone made paskas. I’ve attached a picture of us at the paska making and the final product.
Lastly, as you know, I’m heading there tomorrow afternoon to plant tomato seeds with the kids. I’m not bringing my family along as they headed to Banff for a few days of skiing. Should be fun!
Marianne

Some Linking Generations “Grandparent” Thoughts

Wonder how the amazing seniors in our Volunteer Grandparent program feel? Below are just 2 of the wonderful stories.

Interested in knowing more about the Linking Generations Volunteer Grandparent Program, click here.


From Debra:

I spent 2 1/2 hours at school today. I spent 15 minutes setting up the play stations – (tables with games) to play. First, I read a story to class  – about Wayne Gretzky – they all seemed very enthused.  They knew all about him, and we learned about hat tricks, autographs, charity auctions/bidding, winning streaks and slumps etc.  While Madame Alisa supervised the play stations,  I took 8 students at a time, to the music room, where I taught them line dancing.  The Twist – a popular dance when I was 10 years old.  We danced to music from Youtube (Let’s Twist Again) by Chubby Checker – the children were fantastic.  Then after all 23 children had learned the dance, the entire class performed for Madame Alisa, (she was taking video) and by the end I was a sweaty, happy little dishrag !  The kids were great, some caught on quickly, while others took longer, but in the end, it was adorable. We will do bean planting for April, once supplies arrive. I’m delighted with this program.


From Carol:

Had a great visit with grade two today. Many of them were in the office when I signed in. I heard lots of “Hi Oma Carol!” Went down to the room and saw some finishing a test they missed last week. We talked about when I lived in Cambridge Bay now in Nunavut. They are studying Iqaluit, Nunavut. We talked about what languages they spoke. I had a library book written in English and Inuktitut which we put up on the screen. We compared the writing with the Ukrainian they are learning. There was a soapstone carving in the book so I showed them two that I’d brought. We talked about the weather and Lindsay showed them it was -27 with windchill -35. I talked about what I wore there in winter. They told me in Ukrainian and by gesture what the Ukrainian words were. In their social booklet they had paper dolls they dresses for inside and outside in Iqaluit and labelled them in Ukrainian. I’m going back on Thursday for our plane ride and tour around Iqaluit. Oma Carol
Had another great visit at school. We went on a flight to Iqaluit today. I was the assistant on the plane trip. I chimed in with more experiences from my time in Nunavut. Also talked about the flag and what the colours represent. Brought fruit snacks for on the plane. Several children commented about my new haircut. Will be back sometime in April.


“What does that mean?”

Like fashion, slang changes with the times.

Our seniors and students explored the different slang expressions used by youth, young and middle-aged adults, and seniors to describe the same items or ideas over the past 70 years.

This activity heightened the awareness of how our written and spoken language has changed over the past 10 to 70 years. A fun afternoon for our students from St. Theresa Middle School and our seniors from Bedford Village.

IT HAPPENING !! IN PERSON !!

After months of letter writing and sharing of videos, our students are finally meeting their “linked” seniors IN PERSON !!!!

Lakeland Ridge School & Heartland Housing Silver Birch Lodge

École Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School (OLPH) & Clover Bar Lodge

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations !  Everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day!

The students were extra excited to share past and present St. Patrick Day traditions with each other. 

Our students and seniors came out to see if the luck o’ the Irish was on their side as the team’s shared stories, puzzles and laughter on their knowledge of leprechauns and all things Irish!

Holy Redeemer Junior High and Chartwell Emerald Hills

St. John Paul II Junior High School & Heartland Housing Dr. Turner Lodge

B-I-N-G-O

Who does not like a game of BINGO?

Our Holy Redeemer Junior High Students were excited to get back into Chartwell Emerald Hills and visit with their ‘linked’ seniors after weeks of visiting restrictions being lifted. The laughter in the room was contiguous and the competition to win was apparent!

“What does that mean?”

Like fashion, slang changes with the times.

Our seniors and students explored the different slang expressions used by youth, young and middle-aged adults, and seniors to describe the same items or ideas over the past 70 years. This activity heightened the awareness of how our written and spoken language has changed over the past 10 to 70 years.

Holy Redeemer Junior High and Chartwell Emerald Hills

Linking Generations Volunteer Grandparent Program Flourishes with Special Grandparents !

All dressed up for a Valentines Day Party!!! 

After a short recess from in person visiting, our Volunteer Grandparent Deborah was excited to see her classroom of students once again ! This was the first time back since December. Students loved the goodies and cards they received.

Thank you Deborah for changing and shaping the lives of our younger generations. 

Sending Heart Hugs and Letters

As Linking Generations continues to navigate a world of constant change, it is imperative that we keep our students and seniors connected.

Linking Generations students brought smiles to the seniors living in some of our partnership senior facilities even when they could not go into the facilities. Heart hugs were created, along with long letters, and dropped off to the students “linked ” seniors. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel- soon we will resume in person visits. And there will be many stories to share, laughter to be heard and  smiles to be seen. 

New Horizons Charter School & Heartland Housing Silver Birch Haven Seniors Residences

St. John Paul II Junior High School & Heartland Housing Dr. Turner Lodge