Tech­nol­ogy is break­ing the age bar­rier

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

A pow­er­ful learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in­volv­ing rest home res­i­dents and high school stu­dents brought some stu­dents to tears and prompted one de­men­tia pa­tient to speak for the first time in a long time.

About 40 For­est View High School Year 10 tech­nol­ogy stu­dents spent term two cre­at­ing items for res­i­dents at Vic­to­ria Place Care.

They made bird houses, nerve tester games, puz­zles, colour­ing in and ac­tiv­ity books, and pot plant hang­ers.

These were pre­sented to res­i­dents at the end of the term, along with a spe­cial meal.

The school’s dig­i­tal depart­ment head Teresa Walker said the project was a way of en­cour­ag­ing in­ter­ac­tion be­tween young and old.

The project was more about wit­ness­ing real life re­sults than gain­ing marks.

Teacher Kevin Haines said it was a mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence see­ing the re­ac­tions of stu­dents and res­i­dents.

‘‘I was blown away by how the stu­dents in­ter­acted with the res­i­dents and how moved they were,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of the kids went into the de­men­tia ward and there was a gen­tle­man in there who they were talk­ing with which the nurse said was the first time they had heard him talk. That’s how dy­namic the in­ter­ac­tion was and some of the kids even cried they were so moved.’’

Walker said the stu­dents spent

‘‘I was blown away by how the stu­dents in­ter­acted with the res­i­dents and how moved they were.’’ Kevin Haines

up to two hours talk­ing with the res­i­dents to get ideas.

‘‘Some of them were not used to talk­ing to older peo­ple so to start with they were not sure how to ap­proach them but by the end they learnt they had to be close and loud,’’ she laughed.

Haines said the stu­dents were in­cred­i­ble.

Vic­to­ria Place Care busi­ness man­ager Dawn Lewis said she couldn’t thank For­est View enough.

‘‘It means so much to our peo­ple. They get so ex­cited on the days young­sters come in, you can re­ally feel it,’’ she said.

Clin­i­cal man­ager Evelina Erika said the res­i­dents were al­ready look­ing for­ward to the school’s next visit.

‘‘When they go they al­ways say they were lovely but the skirts are get­ting a lot shorter,’’ she laughed.

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIRFAX NZ

For­est View High School stu­dents with some of their cre­ations for the res­i­dents at Vic­to­ria Place Care.

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