It’s been a different school experience this year, with many of the “fun” seasonal events impossible, including seasonal concerts and the carolling event that took senior students to three local seniors’ homes to entertain with songs, greeting cards and stories. For the past nine years, North Cavan teachers Kevin Woollacott and Mrs. Caravaggio have rented a bus and taken students from grades four to six to Centennial Place in Millbrook, Springdale in Fraserville and Riverview Retirement home in Peterborough. They perform songs, deliver hand-made cards and read books with residents who express their gratitude in every way possible: singing along, tapping their toes or nodding to the beat of the familiar tunes, with smiles from ear to ear. They call the annual tradition their “Pay it Forward” event.
Even before the provincial lockdown, in-person events like this were not possible in residences housing this vulnerable segment of the population, but staff and students were determined to deliver something, feeling this year it was more important than ever.
Woolacott contacted the three seniors’ homes to see if student-made cards and ornaments would be welcome, and of course, the reply was a resounding “yes”. Staff indicated that many of their residents had not seen family members in some time due to Covid and this gesture would be most appreciated. And it was.
Word of the project spread in the school spread and other classes asked to join in. Students created cards and holiday ornaments and the JK/SK students created colourful penguin paintings as their creative contribution. Items were delivered several days prior to their distribution to the residents to ensure they were virus-free.
In all we will continue to do our best at North Cavan PS to pay it forward during these challenging times. KG