Generations come together in monthly meet-ups

Intergenerational activity benefits both students and seniors

Callum Skinner and twin sister Amelia

Callum Skinner and twin sister Amelia

A flurry of intergenerational activity benefits both the students and the seniors at Marrion Village.

The activity co-ordinator for the Baptist Housing in Oak Bay tries to have students come in once a month.

“Intergenerational programming is so important to all involved. When the children, parents and Tara come to visit we all have so much fun, share laughter and stories and create friendships,” said Maria Tomlinson. “The therapeutic effect of the visit lasts for days afterwards and we all look forward to the next time we are together.”

A group of Grade 3 students from St. Patrick’s Elementary School headed for the home earlier this month.

“We come five or six times a year,” said teacher Tara Wild. “We’re a Catholic school so it’s part of our outreach. It’s part of our religious studies. The kids get as much out of it as the seniors.”

The residents of Marrion Village, and adjacent homes students routinely visit, are happy to see young, exuberant faces.

“I enjoy them very much. I used to have children, they’re all grown up  now,” said resident Edyta Sahlen. “We’re doting grandmothers you know.”

The students enjoy a visit, often augmented by a romp with Tomlinson’s pet therapy dog.

“It makes them be happy,” said third-grader Zara Sparcks. “They probably haven’t seen little kids for a long time and everybody loves little kids.”

“I really enjoy it, just being around them,” agreed classmate Harper Johnston.