Little Things in Life Bring Generations Together
Global Citizenship students socialize with Guardian Angels’s residents before holidays
It’s the small things in life like sharing holiday traditions, making Christmas cards and playing games that change an ordinary day into an extraordinary day for many senior citizens living in assisted-living environments.
So when a class from Minnesota School of Business stopped by to spend time doing the little things in life with seniors at Guardian Angels, an Elk River, MN senior care center, it not only changed the kind of day for the seniors, but it changed the lives of the students.
The visit between students and seniors was part of a service-learning project for the students’ global citizenship class. Instructor Nicole Rasmussen said the students decided on the project because they felt spending time with seniors, especially around the holidays, was an important part of being a citizen, which is the focus of their class.
One of the first experiences students’ had was going door-to-door asking residents if they wanted to participate in the planned activities. This task was an eye-opener for students, as they were met with some hesitation by the seniors that they didn’t expect.
“Getting the seniors to participate really pushed my students out of their comfort zone and I think the seniors were pushed out of their comfort zones as well,” said Rasmussen.
Many students were amazed by the neat holiday traditions that seniors were sharing, how creative and detailed the holiday cards turned out and how a simple game of cards could lead to a new friendship.
“This project truly showed students that being an active citizen is a duty, but it can also be fun and lead to lifelong friendships and memories,” said Rasmussen. “Many students have already gone back to Guardian Angels to visit again and many have plans to go back in the future.”