A DERWENT Valley primary school’s program that pairs students with senior community residents is teaching the young and old valuable life skills.
The St Brigid’s Catholic School’s Trip Down Memory Lane initiative gives Grade 6 students the chance to speak with retirees about what life was like in New Norfolk in years past.
Joint conversations between the children and participants have proved invaluable during the program, with many friendships formed.
“The kids get a lot out of it and our visitors really love it and love interacting with the students,” school principal Joy Matar said.
“It’s been great to be able to continue this program under the guidance of Sister Carmel Hinkley, Judy Wilton and Shirley Graham.”
Grade 6 student J’Khobi Bone, 12, said along with learning a ton of invaluable knowledge from senior citizens, the program also seemed to be teaching the older residents a thing or two.
“It kind of does feel like we are teaching them something. These days we learn so much with iPads and computers, but they never had that growing up so I think they enjoy learning about new technology,” he said.
“I think it’s a fantastic program that teaches us kids about the history of New Norfolk and the changes here over the years.”
Ken O’Brien, 95, who is involved in the school program shared a number of his life’s journeys with students, including his service in World War II.
“I tell everybody to get a good education and it will serve you for the rest of your life,” he said.
“I think you are always learning, I still like learning and do all the internet banking things.”
Sr Carmel said the program provided a great link for the Derwent Valley community by bringing senior citizens to work closely with young students.