How a study on ‘why elderly people should be socially active’ inspired a class in Iceland to take action

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  • November 01, 2013

I read a report long ago (which I can’t find now, but here‘s another one) about how elderly people who played cards, were outgoing, took part in social activities and had something to look forward to lived longer than those who didn’t.

WOW, great news and being a teacher with young students who are learning to read I saw a great opportunity here.

I went down to our local senior centre here in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland and spoke with the head nurse their and told her about the report and asked if I could bring my class once a week to read, play cards and play boccia with the senior citizens. Needless to say she was thrilled about the idea. So I sent an e-mail to the parents and told them that every Tuesday between 11.20 – 12.20 we would be at the senior centre and parents were invited to join us.

So every Tuesday morning, kids would pick 2-3 books each to read to the senior citizens and the school bus took us to the senior centre where normally the parents that could make it came and helped us out.

I can’t tell you how happy my kids, their parents, the nurses and the senior citizens were with our collaboration project. What was also unbelievable was that my kid sensed the calmness in the air at the senior centre and acted accordingly. They were so polite and considerate that the nurses were amazed.

I could write more about the impact it had on reading, how parents got more involved, how happy this made the senior citizens and so on…. but I’m gonna let this video speak for itself.

I really hope this inspires you to visit your senior centre and make a difference in your community.

If you have any questions, contact me
Ingvi Hrannar Ómarsson
Icelandic Elementary Teacher

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