Above: Aminah with Gr. 5/6 students from Northward visiting Telfer Place
Hello! My name is Aminah Syed and I am a first-year student studying Business Technology Management at Wilfrid Laurier University. Since joining SKIP (Seniors and Kids Intergenerational Programs) in November 2017, I have gained numerous valuable experiences. From attending board meetings to going on visits to retirement homes with students from different grades, my SKIP experience so far has been phenomenal.
On April 26th I joined a grade 7 class from Our Lady of Providence to visit Charlotte Villa at 11 a.m. Students settled in and started chatting away with the residents, who were eagerly waiting for them to arrive. The class teacher had a cart loaded with games that she distributed among everyone. There were games like Jenga, UNO, cards and many more, that students played with the residents. Everybody had a good time interacting and engaging with each other while enjoying refreshments. I observed students patiently and enthusiastically explain game rules to residents while making sure they remained engaged and had fun!
On May 3rd I joined a grade 2 class from Central Public School to visit Charlotte Villa at 11 a.m. Throughout the duration of this visit, students enjoyed an exciting game of BINGO. As soon as they arrived students got together with the residents while Alexis distributed cards. Ready to play, students carefully listened to Alexis as she called out the numbers. The winner after each game was rewarded with a Timbit. 40 minutes passed very quickly, and students prepared to head back to school after saying goodbye to the residents.
My most recent visit was on May 16th to Telfer Place in Paris, with a grade 5 and 6 class from Northward School at 9:30 a.m. Residents were waiting in the lobby as students arrived and paired up with them for exciting games of hidden puzzles. Students had already prepared their puzzles beforehand, so they started solving them with the residents as soon as they came. Students served refreshments to residents first and then settled to have some for themselves. The class teacher shared his thoughts about SKIP and acknowledged the program’s ability to encourage students to step out or their comfort zones and develop empathy and compassion. Indeed, SKIP is quite successful in doing so, as I saw a group of students interact very well with a resident with vision loss. This is just one of the many times I observed students from different schools interact and engage with residents very effectively and impressively. And that is the glory of SKIP.