February 20, 2011

Our sister company, Family Partners, was involved in a Valentine’s Day event with Covenant Christian School that was covered by The Town & Country Patch.  Seniors and students all had a great time! Click here for the original article including photos or read the full article below.

Seniors Deliver Valentines to Town and Country Students

Senior citizens from Family Partners Adult Day Services delivered valentines to Covenant Christian School Students in Town and Country

by Gabrielle Biondo

It was a special Valentine’s Day for seniors and students of Town and Country’s Covenant Christian School.

Monday, Sonja Smith’s kindergartners received handmade valentines from participants at Family Partners Adult Day Services in Des Peres. The center provides day care for individuals diagnosed with dementia and other types of mental and physical impairments who benefit from an environment that provides socialization.

Family Partners Adult Day Services President and Cofounder Barth Holohan said the seniors began making their valentines last week, then headed over to the school to deliver them Monday morning.

“It’s just a great blessing for them to be able to work on a project to give to kids,” Holohan said.

He said it’s a great activity for the seniors because not many seniors get a chance to go to the school and participate in events other than grandparents day. Normally, the center helps its members make valentines for each other or their spouses, but this is the first year they made valentines for students.

“They really enjoy making the cards,” Holohan said.

Holohan said this particular project is nice for the seniors because they not only spend hours making and decorating the cards, but they then get to follow the process and see the joy on the students faces when they deliver the valentines.

“It’s a huge thing for older adults with dementia,” Holohan said. “Because with anybody with dementia, it’s all about living in the moment.”

Kindergarten teacher Sonja Smith said that when she was presented with the idea of the seniors delivering their handmade cards to her class, she knew it would be fun and a great learning experience for her students.

“I love any time the kids can do something out of the box like this, something different,” Smith said.

Smith said that most often students are exposed to classmates, older students, parents and grandparents, but as far as older adults they don’t already know, the kids don’t have a lot of interaction with them. Smith said this is a good opportunity to discuss with young students how to prepare to meet new people and what to talk about with them.

“It kind of gets them thinking in a way they don’t normally think, thinking about how to get to know them,” Smith said.

Smith also said she saw it as a great opportunity to introduce two very different age groups and allow them to interact in a fun environment.

“It’s a good combination because I think they’re both very accepting of one another,” Smith said.

When seniors arrived Monday, they delivered not only their handmade valentines, but brought cookies for the kindergarteners. The students gave the seniors a Valentine’s Day plant as a thank you, sang “Jesus Loves You” for the seniors and recited a Bible verse to show their appreciation.

“It was really sweet. I think they really enjoyed it,” Smith said.

In fact, the seniors and students enjoyed the time together so much, that instead of leaving as scheduled, the seniors stayed for the student’s 11 a.m. Spanish class.