Let’s Celebrate at CBA!
The door opened to a small community center and 12 eager Grade 4 students entered. Excited and yet a bit unsure of what the next hour would hold, the students were ready. With board games and notebooks in hand, they hesitantly made their way in and began to ask how they could help set the room to meet their guests. And who were these guests that 9 and 10-year-old students were to meet? Senior citizens! My heart swelled as I saw their delight begin to surface as the activities began.
One of CBA’s “Expected Student Outcomes” (ESOs) is to see our students become courageous leaders who humbly serve, employing their gifts and talents to generously love others. Those ‘others’ also mean others of different ages. Each and every person we meet is an individual created in the image of God with value and importance. The experience about to begin would include the opportunity for these young people to show honor and respect to a different generation as they played games, enjoyed snacks, and talked together.
We also desire our students to experience the joy of learning from those who have experienced life and learned from it. Another of our ESOs is to develop a global perspective by understanding issues from multiple perspectives and interact compassionately with all cultures. The next hour would be one of learning to listen well as conversations linked the generations. The students had prepared questions in advance and eagerly set out to ask and listen to learn how school and life were different for their new older friends than their own.
Uno, Sorry, Dominoes, and card games ensued. Laughing and comments of “Really?” or “Wow!” were heard often, from both age groups. The students were quick to get their friends a cookie or cup of lemonade and the student’s new elderly friends were eager to share stories. After time of getting to know one another, questions were asked and notes were taken to aid in the student’s discussion back at school. The hour passed quickly and before we knew it, it was time to head back to the classroom. Although, in reality, we had been in an important classroom for the past hour. The goal is to return to this ‘off-site classroom’ monthly and continue to learn from and love on those of an older generation.