Every holiday season, Huband Elementary classes put together greetings for seniors in local residences.
This year, like so many other situations, things are a little different with COVID-restrictions in place.
However, on the afternoon of Thursday, Dec. 10, a group of students popped by The Views to deliver their season’s greetings in person – at an appropriate social distance.
The students brought artwork, with an aurora borealis theme, to present to the seniors. The kids stayed outside but showed off their creations to residents through the window, then broke into a round of “Jingle Bells,” which brought big smiles from the residents inside.
Huband principal Gracie MacDonald said the students write letters to seniors each year.
“This year was kind of special because of the situation we’re in,” she said.
The students were able to personalize their greetings as they were given names, age and other information about the seniors they were contacting.
“The Views is special because a lot of the people in here have not seen anybody for a long time,” she said. “All these kids knew they were writing to Joseph or Ronald or Maria. It was personal to them…. They were able to make that connection to the older person.”
The plan is to get something sent to each of the residents at The Views, and some of the students will be pulling double-duty.
“Some of the kids wrote to more than one person, which was very sweet,” she said.
Jennifer Chaboteaux, director of care at The Views, said many of the residents have not been able to see grandchildren or great-grandchildren for so long this year because of pandemic restrictions, so the gesture means all that much more.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring youth in,” she said.
The project is not the only example of local students providing some holiday cheer for others. For example, according to School District 71, several schools are taking part in a holiday tradition that is new to the district –a letter-writing campaign. Students at Royston, Cumberland, Valley View, Brooklyn, Aspen, Airport and Queneesh are writing cards and letters to help lift the spirits of seniors in three centres in the Valley – Cumberland Lodge, The Views and Glacier View Lodge.
As well, Indigenous support workers and their students are writing cards to Elders in the Valley, while Ramona Johnson of IHOS Gallery is providing lapel pins and broaches to add to the Elder letters.