Second Intergenerational Exchange Held At St.Thomas’

Charlestown –Nevis–The idea was conceived by Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson, the Coordinator of the Seniors Division within the Social Services Department and Junior Minister of Social Development, The Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams has fully endorsed it and given her full blessings.

As Mrs. Hendrickson explained, the program entails the interaction between the senior citizens on the island and the present day children. The objectives include a sharing of information about such issues as school life, church life, meals and how they were prepared, games and past times; music and much more. The seniors are able to educate the young children on what life was like when they were growing up and the children are able to share their present day experiences with the older folks.

The first such program was held at the VOJN Primary School and that was a grand success. The second such program was held at the St.Thomas’ Primary School on Tuesday 24th September.

The specially invited seniors, sat close to the students of Grade five and they were able to exchange essential information such as names, addresses and other similar information.

This was followed by an official opening ceremony which was ably chaired by Deputy Principal of the school, Mrs. Althea Liburd.

One of the members of the seniors group, Mrs. Eileen Liburd led out with a string of lively choruses and this was followed by the scripture reading, presented by student Shadimond Pemberton. Another student also invoked God’s presence on the proceedings.

Everyone present then stood at attention and lustily sang the national anthem of the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis.

The welcome remarks were given by Headmistress Mrs. Norlene Smithen who gave a new meaning to the word SENIORS and saluted the older persons for their hard work and dedication throughout the years.

The Grade five students then entertained the seniors with a beautiful medley of choruses and then made a personalized presentation of cards to each senior.

The seniors also took center stage when the lively Kathy Tyson presented two short stories, one of them about Brer Anancy and Brer Goat and took time out to explain the morals in the stories for the benefit of the children.

Mrs. Averil Elliot, the Education Officer with responsibility for the school then addressed the gathering. She applauded the seniors for their contributions to the welfare of the society and told them that they were still looking radiant. She advised them to enjoy their day out with the children and admonished the children to learn as much as they could from the older persons.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, opined that the seniors may not have monetary wealth but that they have a wealth and knowledge and experience to share.

He also took time out to congratulate them on their continued service to the community.

Director of the Social Services Department, Ms. Sandra Maynard explained to the children that very similar to the manner in which their Teachers plan for their education, so too her Department and indeed the Nevis Island Administration has to plan ways in which to take care of the seniors.

She told them to remember four key words in looking after the elderly within the community:

RESPECT
APPRECIATION
HELPFULNESS
LOVE

The proceedings then continued in two class rooms where the children and the seniors interacted on an even more personal basis and quite a bit of information was shared and exchanged and from all appearances, they all had fun doing so.

ACCORDNIG TO Mrs. Hendrickson, similar sessions will continue all across the island, over a period of time.

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