First Graders, Senior Citizens Connect Generations by Crafting Valentine’s Day Art

Three first grade classes at Eagle Elementary to meet with senior citizens this week

FARGO, N.D. —¬†First graders interacted with senior citizens to craft some art and learn about life in Fargo decades ago.

All it took was some colored pencils, some construction paper, some glue, and some googly eyes, but the senior citizens at Touchmark at Harwood Groves and the first graders at Eagle Elementary came together to make an intergenerational art piece.

The class, taught by Shana Wolff, crafted paper butterflies with the senior citizens. With every cut, paste, and shade, the children brought smiles to the senior citizens.

“It is wonderful. Kids bring back a lot of memories. Most of our residents here have children of their own or grandchildren and just having the joy of a child in our neighborhood is just wonderful,” said Anna Lawler, the Memory Care Life Enrichment Coordinator at Touchmark at Harwood Groves.

The class is one of three to visit the retirement community over the next two days. The Touchmark staff loves having the students around.

“In memory care, we tend not to look too far in advance, so in the morning at breakfast, we say ‘oh look, the kids are coming’ and it really changes the atmosphere of the day,” said Lawler.

Getting the children comfortable with interacting with senior citizens helps ease the gap between the generations.

“If a grandparent moves into a retirement community, it makes them know that it’s safe to come here and it’s fun here,” said Kendra Stensland, the Memory Care Coordinator at Touchmark at Harwood Groves.

Today’s group was the first of three to visit the senior living community this week.

Two more classes will be making more arts and crafts with the senior citizens Wednesday morning.

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