Beaconsfield High School Students
Connecting with Local Seniors

by Helena Tsitouras

Beaconsfield High School grade 7 students recently participated in a project that connected them with senior citizens in their community. The idea started as an entrepreneurship project by four students: Alana Sullivan, Alexa Flaherty, Sierra Savard, and Michaela Mathieson. Their project, originally titled “Remember When”, aimed to encourage students to connect with senior citizens who often feel lonely and isolated.

The four students collected gifts to spread joy to senior citizens during the holidays and made video advertisements encouraging students at their school to spend time with the elderly. As part of their efforts, they joined Teresa Palliative Care Residence’s pilot project “Conversations Collage”, which pairs high school students with elderly residents. The program creates an intergenerational compassionate community that benefits everyone involved.

The project ran from January 19th to March 2nd, with the students meeting with senior citizens every Thursday morning. The program paired students with residents from the Cambridge Retirement Home in Pointe-Claire. Each week, the students listened to stories and memories of the residents’ and worked on collages. These visual displays showcased the residents’ life experiences, including fond memories, family, friends, accomplishments, and favourite things.

When asked about their experience, Joan, a resident at Cambridge said, “When I came here, I didn’t know what to expect, and it’s turned out to be something I’m going to miss.” Another resident described the program as “lovely” and appreciated the hard work and everyone’s goodwill. They also expressed hope that the program would continue and evolve.

To BHS’ surprise, two senior residents participating in the program were previous staff members of the high school: Doug Cooke was the proud Vice Principal at Beaconsfield High School and Alice Lecouvie worked as the school nurse. The program provided a valuable opportunity for the former staff members to reminisce about the past.