New initiative sees Roydon Primary School pupils read to care home residents at De Lucy House Care Home in Diss
An initiative has launched at a primary school that sees pupils and elderly care home residents spending valuable time together.
The reception class at Roydon Primary School will regularly visit De Lucy House Care Home in Diss to read to its residents.
Reception class teacher Tracey Willer spoke about what inspired the idea behind it. “It was a mixture of a couple of things,” she said. “Reports came out with all the mutual benefits of the older and younger generation working together.
“As a school, we value working as part of the community. That was another aspect of it.”
Every fortnight, 12 children will take books to the home and share stories with the residents.
“We focused on the reading side of things because it’s such a fundamental part of the curriculum and, as a school, we are always looking at new ways of engaging and enthusing children,” said Ms Willer.
“It just seemed the perfect opportunity.”
The first reading took place last Monday and was a success.
“It went absolutely fantastically,” she said. “The children really enjoyed it and we left the residents with a lovely smile on their faces.
“We want to develop that deeper passion for reading and the value of working together with members of the community.”
Ms Willer also discussed the mutual benefits of the two generations interacting.
She said: “With all the research they have done, it’s shown that it actually helps them keep fit and active. It’s nice for the younger children to have that positive relationship with the older generation.
“The children enjoyed sharing the stories and having the opportunity to read stories to other people, rather than us and their mums and dads.”
A report by the University of Kent highlighted the positive impact intergenerational connections can have, such as better attitudes towards older people, less stereotyping and less anxiety about ageing.
Karen Lynch, activities co-ordinator at De Lucy House, said: “The residents thoroughly enjoyed having the children read to them and we all agreed it should be a regular get together. We are looking forward to them returning every two weeks and watching their friendships grow.”
More by this authorVictoria Scheer