This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
On Friday, kindergartners from K-Beach Elementary School visited residents at Heritage Place, a continuing care facility for seniors and the disabled, for a Dignity Mission. Dignity Missions offer the power to heal, Aud Walaszek, Heritage Place activities coordinator, said.
“We do a Dignity Mission with them so they can take this back with them to their school and their families and they can learn how to treat other people,” Walaszek said.
Friday’s Dignity Mission divided the students and residents into three separate groups. One group was working together to make Dignity Mission T-shirts, another group had residents reading to students and another had residents and students playing icebreaker games together.
It’s the third year kindergartners from K-Beach Elementary have visited Heritage Place, April Kaufman, a kindergarten teacher from K-Beach Elementary, said on Friday.
“Throughout the school year we begin to practice how it looks, how it feels and how it sounds to be responsible, respectable and safe,” Kaufman said. “We model and role play it. When there are conflict and resolution opportunities we build that vocabulary in.”
Kaufman said she and her students love visiting Heritage Place.
“I love to see the sparkles in the residents’ eyes, as well as the children and the parents,” Kaufman said. “We all get something from it.”
While visiting with residents at Heritage Place, the students get an opportunity to practice introducing themselves.
Lily, a student in Kaufman’s class, said she enjoyed introducing herself to the residents at Heritage Place.
“I felt joy and love when I said, ‘Hello, what’s your name?’” she said.
Another student, Neil, said he enjoyed the lessons he learned.
“I had a good time because I learned about kindness,” he said. “People were being nice.”
Students from several schools in the area are working together to interact with the residents at Heritage Place.