OSWEGO, NY – For nearly a decade, Charles E. Riley Elementary School teachers Terri Cullen-Stacy and Karen Burke have been taking their classes on a short field trip across the street to Bishop Commons and St. LukeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s.
The partnership which brings together some of OswegoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s youngest residents with those who have experienced so much in life has been a wonderful relationship that has benefited both sides.
As the new school year kicked off, Julie Chetney of Bishop Commons said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOur residents wanted to do something nice for the students in Oswego. I asked them which schools they wanted to join with and they said that Charles E. Riley was the choice as they realized the value of the visits and the relationships as we are neighbors.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Just a week after the new school year started several residents of Bishop Commons were invited to a special reception at the local elementary school.
Principal Dr. Randy Richards said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis is a wonderful relationship that has been created between our students and the nearby residents. The small reception is just a way to say ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“thank youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ for the contributions that have been made to our children.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Chetney noted, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOver the years the students have brought much joy to our residents.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The residents truly enjoy their company and look forward to their visits each month. It is a wonderful relationship that we have with Riley School and the commitment of the teachers (both Mrs. Burke and Mrs. Stacy) is one reason why the program has grown to what is today.”
Continuing she said,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The children have so much to share and our residents have as much to offer to them. Over the past eight years I have seen countless smiles and memories made between the students and our residents, and I know that the quality of their interactions is both meaningful and genuine.”
When the residents of Bishop Commons arrived they brought along some surprises.
While the visitors were at Charles E. Riley to be recognized they brought along bags and boxes of school supplies.
Crayons, markers, packages of paper and other necessities for daily school life were spread across a huge lunch table.
The generous donation of the Bishop Commons residents was very meaningful to not only the students at the Charles E. Riley Elementary School but those residents of Bishop Commons who so generously donated.
Burke said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe residents and staff at BishopÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Commons wanted to do something special for school children this year. They decided to collect school supplies to donate to children who needed some of these very important supplies. The residents also decided to direct their donations to the children at Riley Elementary School because we have a special relationship with them!”
There are two classes, StacyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s first grade and BurkeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s third grade, that visit the residents once a month as a part of an intergenerational partnership.
Burke explained, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe students interact with the residents by doing many different kinds of activities together. The friendships that develop are invaluable and the reciprocal enjoyment that results from our visits is wonderful. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a great opportunity for our children to learn to value the senior citizens in our community. We are grateful for the opportunity and we are appreciative of their generous contribution to our school.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Chetney said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI truly love this program and feel it is a tremendous asset to our residents.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â