Students at Rick Marcotte Central School recently joined their new neighbors, the residents of Allard Square, for holiday cheer.
“I was delighted to hear there was an elementary school right next to our building,” said Kat Patterson, Support and Services at Home (SASH) coordinator at Allard Square. “I knew it would be a great opportunity for inter-generational activities,”
This sentiment was mutual for RMCS third-grade teachers Jackie Bailey, Dolly Ligouri, and Mary Dupont. Soon after Allard Square’s opening in November 2018, the teachers walked across the parking lot and introduced themselves to Patterson.
“Kudos to the teachers for their initiation,” Patterson said. “They were really excited about community service opportunities for their students.”
The school and Allard Square’s first joint activity was planned for December, right around the holidays. “This was a great time for our residents. Third graders bring a whole new energy and liveliness to our building,” Patterson said.
On a beautiful December morning, the entire third grade walked over to Allard Square to sing holiday songs, read books, and even exchange holiday gifts.
“I saw those kids walking across the parking lot and I hurried downstairs to be part of the activity,” said one Allard Square resident.
The students sang their holiday favorites, “Holiday Cookies,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Go in Peace,” and “Hip Hop Elves.” Then they partnered with residents to read some books they brought from their classroom. In addition, the students had made paper ornaments with their art teacher, Kelsey Lewis, and gave them as gifts to the residents.
“It’s fun that they’re right next to us,” said one third-grader. “It’s like having grandmas and grandpas right there.”
One Allard Square resident was so excited about the visit, she handstitched 60 bookmarks and gave one to each student. They were described by the recipients as “awesome.”
Fun was had by all at the visit, which is just the beginning of many future friendships and opportunities.