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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Colchester’s kindergarteners send Valentine’s Day cards, celebrate 100-days of school


by Sylene Argent

Photos submitted

Last week, the students of one of the kindergarten classes at Colchester North Public School made Valentine’s Day cards for residents at The Leamington Mennonite Home, and their educators were pleased with the teaching opportunity and the outcome of the outreach project. 

  Teacher, Janice DiLaudo, noted every February, her kindergarten lessons always surround health and love. This includes anything that has to do with being a well-rounded person; mentally, physically, and in addition to eating well.

  Part of being healthy and full of love, includes doing things for others. So, in keeping with that lesson, DiLaudo typically encourages her students to bring in 100 canned goods to care for others in need, which also coincides with the students celebrating reaching the 100-days of school milestone. Because of COVID, and there being periods of time when the students had to learn from home via virtual learning, when the students returned to in-class studies recently, they began to make Valentine’s Day Cards for the residents at The Leamington Mennonite Home, instead.

  Throughout her whole career, DiLaudo has had her students interview seniors or head into seniors’ homes to perform songs. This year, she knew some residents were feeling extra lonely, due to the pandemic, and knowing loneliness can impacts mental and physical health, wanted her students to do something to put a smile on the faces of seniors in long-term care.

  Her daughter, Tahlia, is a student at Kingsville District High School, and works at The Leamington Mennonite Home. She delivered the cards to the residents before one of her shifts.

  “They were so happy,” DiLaudo said of the seniors, who received a card. She added some of the residents ended up shedding a tear, while others giggled in delight. “They hung them up in their rooms or cafeteria. It seemed to be a huge deal.”

  DiLaudo added there is a, “We All Belong” theme at Colchester North. Teachers ensured this theme was included when teaching the kindergarteners about care of seniors this year. 

  Also, as part of Valentine’s Day, the students made a crown to wear, decorating them with hearts they made by learning about symmetry.

  Recently, the Kindergarten students also got to celebrate the 100th day of school, and as part of celebrations, teachers had a chance to turn them into looking 100-years-old through an online feature.

  DiLaudo used the experience to talk about seniors and how the students need to care for themselves if they wish to reach the age of 100. They also got a math lesson through the experience, using charts to see how old they are now, and how far into the future reaching 100-years-old would be for them.

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