Caring Hearts, Sharing Hearts
A Guelph & Area Right to Life Educational Initiative
As a caring society, we should value all ages in our communities, from the very young to the very old. We know that seniors living in nursing and retirement homes often feel isolated and excluded.
Guelph & Area Right to Life invites students in elementary school to participate in the Caring Hearts, Sharing Hearts Project by connecting with the elderly at a local retirement home. As senior living residences may have visitation restrictions in place from time to time, students can also connect creatively with cards, artwork and virtual visits. This is an opportunity for students to develop a stronger connection between seniors and their community. Caring for an elderly person is an opportunity to show an individual their value, worth, and dignity. Developing stronger connections can have tremendous benefits for young and old. Both can find wisdom and inspiration in each other.
How Does It Work?
Teachers can contact our office to learn more about this program and to find out which local retirement homes are participating.
What Skills Can Students Learn & Develop?
Confronting stereotypes toward aging & seniors
Create a positive memory
"Our kindergarten students thoroughly enjoyed spending their morning with the seniors at the Elliott Community. Children 5 and under ride for free on the city bus, so travelling to the retirement home was an adventure in itself. The kids were able to see out the large windows of the bus and the seniors already on the bus enjoyed the squeals of the children as the bus sped up and turned corners."
"At the Elliott, the children were brought on the stage and sang songs, including "I am a Pizza" much to the amusement of the seniors. They were then divided into smaller groups, some making crafts, some having a snack and others in a reading corner. The children love being read to and some of the seniors recalled their earlier days when they used to teach school or read to their own children. It was the least expensive field trip of the year and it brought immeasurable joy to the children and seniors."
- G. Willemsma and G. Zardo, St. John School
For in person or virtual visits:
Choose the date for your event
Teachers prepare students in advance of the visit to a local retirement home (short play, series of songs, or choose conversation topics)
Before visiting, read and talk about the book 'Something to Remember Me By' by Susan V Bosak (provided by Guelph & Area Right to Life
In person visits:
School arranges for students to be bused or walk to the retirement home (depending on the location)
On day of visit, students gather with the residents and perform their activity
Students are encouraged to visit with the seniors and have conversations (conversation tips provided)