Seniors light up as McAnnulty Elementary students pay a visit
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Patricia Adams grinned as she talked to the visiting young tykes about the flowers they were planting together.
“How old are you?” Adams asked a 7-year-old girl who skipped past her chair. “I'll bet you can't guess how old I am. I'm 93.”
Both the senior citizens residing at Atria Senior Living and students in Dawn McPaul's first-grade class at McAnnulty Elementary School enjoy the time they spend together during an intergenerational program that has brought the youngsters to the Baldwin Borough residence four times this school year.
The students brought hand-painted pots and prepared songs about nature to sing for the senior citizens on Monday, during their final visit of the school year, as the generations celebrated Earth Day together. Lowe's and Home Depot donated gift cards and supplies to help pay for the pots and plants.
“I really like it because we get to make the grandparents happy,” said first-[grader Gabrielle Plinta, 7.
McPaul has had her first-grade classes visit a senior citizens facility for the past five years. Prior to this year, the students visited the now-closed Ridgepointe Senior Living in Baldwin Borough.
“It's so important for children to have the experience of working with the older generation. Not all of them have grandparents that are still here,” McPaul said. “It provides a lifelong lesson of how to treat others. They get so much out of it.
“It's beyond what you can teach them in the textbook,” McPaul added.
For the residents at Atria, the visit from the students brightens their day, said engage life director Donna Canovali.
“It animates our residents to see young children in the building,” she said. “It brings them a lot of joy.”
Residents smile just watching the children walk around the room.
“The children, I love these children,” said Bernice Counts, 80. “We enjoy them so much.”
That feeling is mutual.
“We have a lot of fun here,” said first-grader Haylee Marcione, 7.
During the year, the Atria residents and students alike have formed attachments to one another, Canovali said. So much so, that the director is planning a picnic this summer for them to continue gathering.
“True friendships were developed. They know the residents by name. The residents know them by name,” Canovali said.
The students visited Atria this school year for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and, this week, for Earth Day. Each time, they wore costumes, their best dresses or hand-crafted shirts and performed skits or songs for the senior citizens, McPaul said.
Both the students and senior citizens said they enjoyed learning about Earth Day and working together to make the world a little brighter by planting flowers.
As students entertained the senior citizens with musical performances of “America” and “This Old Earth,” the senior citizens sang along and waived their hands in the air.
The students gave a pink azalea plant to the senior citizens that will be planted on the Atria grounds on Route 51.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dodgeball tourney benefits Thomas Jefferson prom
- Revised housing development plan submitted to Baldwin Borough officials
- Whitehall library discussion offers education to parents of autistic children
- New West Jefferson Hills facilities director in place
- Baldwin police seeking two men suspected in robbery