Every month, a contingent of our students heads to The Admiral at the Lake for an ongoing service project with the residents of the assisted living community there. However, the Admiral was hit hard by the polar vortex this winter, with frozen and burst pipes; unfortunately, they are still recovering as they continue working through reconstruction and renovations.
Therefore, it was decided that the Admiral residents would visit us this month here at Chicago Friends School. The students were excited to host these friends for the first time. The experience was rewarding all around. The students seemed to feel more comfortable and confident on their “home turf,” and as a result were more outgoing, conversational, and open than I have seen them before. The Admiral residents got a thrill out of seeing an elementary school again. They loved looking at the student work, walking through the classrooms, and asking questions to the students about the school day.
The older students conducted interviews with the Admiral residents, comparing what life and school was like for them when they were in elementary school, to what life and school is like for students today. The students had never been so conversational – we had to cut them off in order to have enough time for the younger students!
The younger students performed two songs from music class – Do Re Mi and Ram Sam Sam. The residents truly enjoyed listening to the young children sing! They then recited some poems they had written, and finally we all made a collaborative poem together that you can see currently hanging in our lunchroom.
Overall, there was certainly a silver lining to the challenges that the folks at the Admiral are facing with their building. We were glad to share our school with them, and the experience really brought out the gregarious side of the students.