Posted on September 22, 2017
When Epiphany School moved to the Mid-Pacific campus in 2005, I looked for community service opportunities in our area. I found Mānoa Senior Care, right where Kaʻala Street meets Oʻahu Avenue, and a relationship was formed! Since then, both 5th grade and Kindergarten students have blessed the residents of Mānoa Senior Care with their crafts, art work, music, conversation, and hugs. We are so fortunate to have this opportunity to share our aloha with the residents and to have be a part of our Mid-Pacific ʻOhana.
In preparation for our first visit, we created a poster for our buddies that told them things about us, such as our favorite foods, what we like to do, and whether or not we have siblings.
Interacting with our Senior Buddies is not like interacting with our friends, teachers, or parents. To help the children feel prepared to talk with their buddies, we likened the visit to time spent with grandparents, letting them know that many of their buddies would actually be older than their grandparents. We practiced sharing our posters by speaking in loud, clear voices. Teachers explained that some of them may need to get close to their buddiesʻ ears. We also practiced pointing to our posters to help our buddies know what we were talking about.
We talked about not only slowing down our speech, but also slowing down our bodies. A few of our buddies are in wheelchairs, and many use walkers. We understand that our buddies are not as balanced as we are, so we have to be extra careful when moving around them.
At the end of every visit, we sing our "Wave Around the Circle" song, a song we often use to greet our friends in the morning. In this song, the person whose name we sing moves a part of their body that everyone else needs to copy; everyone in the circle has a turn. When we sing with our Senior Buddies, however, we have to be very thoughtful when choosing our motions. Teachers told the children that the motions should be something that their buddies can do, providing them with a little bit of "exercise" while they do it. We practiced big motions and slower movements, trying to imagine what their buddies might be able to do while they sat in their chairs.
During our sharing, we found out some things about our buddies, too:
LM's buddy is 102 years old!
VM's buddy loves to give hugs and is 90 years old.
AG's buddy was afraid of riding horses when she was AG's age.
EK's buddy has 3 sisters and her favorite food is hamburgers.
DL's buddy graduated from Mid-Pacific.
GV and KA's buddy was a dentist.
One buddy has children that graduated from Mid-Pacific.
Another buddy worked at the Advertiser.
Click on our Mānoa Senior Care link to see photos of our posters and of our first walk there. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to take photos of our buddies and post them; however, if you are able to attend their Christmas parties in December, you will be able to meet them then. I will send out more information when it becomes available.
** No new Family Learning Activities are posted, but please feel free to go back to previously posted activities. These optional activities are provided 1) to inform families of classroom learning, 2) as an opportunity for students to reinforce learned concepts, and 3) as a means for families to share in their child's learning. As the children complete these activities, they may bring them in to the classroom at any time to share with the class. There is no due date, so families may complete the activities as they are able. **
Friday, 9/23 - Georgia Heard visit to the Elementary School Campus
Friday, 10/6 - Professional Development Day, no school
Monday, 10/9 - Discoverers' Day Holiday, no school