“I think that was a really kind thing for us to do,” said KCA Grade 4 student, Brian Johnstone.
Jillian, another student agreed.
“They probably don’t get many visitors, so it was nice to go visit them.”
These students are referring to their recent trip to the Evergreen Nursing Home in Kentville.
KCA Grade 4 teacher, Rosslyn Gillan initiated the idea. Connie Ross, who she calls her Canadian grandmother, was recently admitted to Evergreen. She says she wanted to take the children by to try to brighten her first Christmas there.
From there, Gillan enlisted the help of Grade 3/4 teacher, Jessica McAleer. Earlier in the week, the students from both classes baked and decorated cookies. including some for those with dietary restrictions. Gillan says it has been a whole-school endeavour. The two classes, with the help of a few others, made greeting cards, while Donna Rhondenizer, the school’s music teacher, helped out with the songs the students would sing to the residents.
The group of over 40 students were welcomed by resident John Bartram, who greeted the students in both French and English. Bartram was a social studies teacher at KCA from 1978 to 1994, and had Gillan as one of his students. Bartram’s grandson, Aidan, was coincidentally part of the class that went to Evergreen.
Students sang five holiday songs before passing out their homemade cards to the residents. The morning ended with a carol sing-along with parent chaperone Christianne Rushton on the keyboard.
Other Christmas-themed stories you may enjoy
• 'Looks good enough to eat': Hants Border ribbon candy ornaments draw on nostalgia: http://www.kingscountynews.ca/business/looks-good-enough-to-eat-hants-border-ribbon-candy-ornaments-draw-on-nostalgia-170230/
• Kentville woman turning heads with Christmas village: http://www.kingscountynews.ca/living/kentville-woman-turning-heads-with-christmas-village-170299/
• Christmas tree traditions branch out at Kentville u-pick farm: http://www.kingscountynews.ca/living/None/christmas-tree-traditions-branch-out-at-kentville-u-pick-farm-169990/
The most important part, though, says Gillan, was teaching the students that this season is about giving to others.
“All too often, this season focuses on ‘What do you want?’ Rather than ‘How do I give to others?’” she says.
This was the first year for the students to visit the nursing home and Gillan hopes they will repeat it next year.
“It’s an experience the students will never forget,” McAleer added.