The Adopt a Grandparent initiative started at SCAS in 2019 when the program was introduced into the school by Head of Primary, Ms Rosewood, who had seen great success with its operation in previous schools.
The Adopt a Grandparent program connects each student with a resident from one of St Agnes Parish Aged Care campuses. The initial connection is made through writing a letter of introduction, outlining the child’s general interests and asking some questions about what life was like when the residents were children.
The residents at St Agnes were delighted to receive their letter from our students. Sadly, with the busy age that we live in, some residents have minimal interactions with family members, and the connection with a young person from the community is a powerful and life-giving experience. SCAS students also receive the benefits from the Adopt a Grandparent program. Students enjoy taking time to share aspects of their lives that they are thankful for and are encouraged by knowing that their writing will bring joy to another. Learning about the life of an ‘experienced’ individual also gives students insight into other perspectives. It develops their empathy as they learn of the physical difficulties that come with an accomplished and well-lived life.
During the initial COVID pandemic communication was interrupted; however, both our SCAS staff and the staff at St Agnes Parish worked hard to navigate through this uncharted terrain. Lines of communication remained open and, to the delight of students and residents, letters were eventually exchanged.
Last year, Year 6 students enjoyed visiting their Adopted Grandparents at Emmaus. The world may be a little strange at the moment, but we look forward to making the most of whatever means we have available to create a meaningful culmination of this year’s program. Our School Chaplain, Reverend Hodge, who has been involved in the Adopt a Grandparent initiative, would like to see the program’s continuation into high school.