PORT ALICE — For inviting citizens in their golden years into their school, the faculty and staff of Sea View Elementary School earned a little gold of their own.
The B.C. Retired Teachers Association last week recognized Sea View’s Seniors in School program by presenting their second annual Gold Star Award to program coordinator Heather Johnson. The award was one of just five given each year province-wide, and was presented during a special tea and dessert reception that brought together students and seniors along with several dignitaries.
“We’re very impressed with the work the seniors have done in your classrooms and in the school garden,” said Carolyn Prellwitz of the BCRTA, who traveled from Duncan with fellow retired educator Valerie Dyer for the presentation.
“That lets us know we made a good selection.”
The school received a small golden trophy and a $1,000 cheque which will be applied to the program.
The event was attended by School District 85 Superintendent Kathy Bedard and Port Alice Mayor Gail Neely, along with many of the seniors who have worked and shared with students in the program. For the event, seniors shared space at tables with students while older students from the home ec. class served tea and strawberry spongecake.
“I was touched by the relationships that have formed,” Johnson said, surveying the kids and seniors chatting and eating together. “These children say when they are seniors they want to come back to their old school and share.”
The program has brought seniors and students together for activities including curling, watercolour painting, reading, gardening and a knitting circle. Some of the younger classes have hosted seniors for theme days ranging from wartime memories to games the seniors played when they were children.