Third graders bond with senior citizensPublished 7:42am Wednesday, February 9, 2011
For 13 years third grade teacher Lynette Ringquist has taken students to visit with senior citizens at the Fergus Falls Senior Center, through the Adopt-a-Class program coordinated by School District 544. Nine of those years have included students while Ringquist taught at Adams School. She’s in her fourth year teaching third graders at Cleveland School.
On Monday her third graders visited the senior center, starting at 1:15 p.m., to take part in a Valentine exchange, play board games and perform as a third grade kitchen band.
“The seniors always are gracious and share treats and beverages with the students,” said Ringquist. “Our kids comes here about five times each school year. In return, some seniors visit us at Cleveland School, about three times.”
Next month, senior center volunteer Barb Smith will visit the third graders at Cleveland School and conduct a painting class.
On Oct. 18 the seniors at the center hosted the kids for a Halloween craft get-together. The treat that day was popcorn and pop. In December, as part of the holiday season, the third graders came to the senior center, sang carols and took part in a craft project.
Later this spring, in April and May, the kids will come to the senior center and play Bingo and exchange May baskets. The children enjoy coming to the senior center and the seniors enjoy visiting the students at Cleveland School.
“On Nov. 22 I had the please of visiting our Adopt-a-Class,” said Jean Lemmon. “We discussed two books, ‘Marley and me’ and Alexander’s ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.’ I shared with them my poem.”
The senior center compiled some writings of the students into a pamphlet called, “kids Kormer.”
One topic was, “If I were in charge of the World.” Wrote third grader Lilly, “If I were in charge of the world, I would make a holiday for ice cream. There would be school for only one hour each day. Every person would eat candy if they wanted and not get fat. All the stuffed animals would become real. Everyone would eat vegetables and like them. Everyone would be happy every day.”
Wrote Ethan, “I would make everyone pay five cents for a toy. I would make everyone move to the moon. I would make everyone go to school. I would make everyone rhyme. I would make a chocolate fountain. I would have everyone read.”
There are 46 Adopt-a-Class partnerships coordinated by the Fergus Falls Public Schools system, for children k-6 who partner with businesses, nonprofits such as the senior center and with other organizations.