Never too old to learn

Staff photos by Gage Cureton Orchard Hill Assisted Living Community residents speak with first-grade students while they listen to audiobooks in the media center during a visit to Jefferson Elementary Monday. As part of a community outreach partnership between Orchard Hill, Ridgeway on 23rd and Jefferson, first-grade teacher Candice Stadick said, her students meet with residents once a month to read and do arts and crafts.

NEW ULM — Who said you’re too old to learn?

As part of a community outreach program between Jefferson Elementary, Orchard Hill Assisted Living Community and Ridgeway on 23rd, residents of Orchard Hill visited the elementary school on Monday to meet with students and to learn about what goes on in their media and technology class.

Throughout the school year, students from Candice Stadick’s first-grade class and Heidi Rewitzer’s fourth-grade class have travelled to Orchard Hill once a month to read and do arts and crafts with residents. Monday’s visit is the first time residents visited Jefferson since the outreach program began in September and Stadick said they were interested in how much schools have changed over the years.

“It’s been a success and everybody enjoys it,” Stadick said. “This is our first year going out to assisted living.”

Residents followed Stadick’s class as they attended Heidi Wilker’s media and technology class.

During the visit, residents talked with students and listened in as Wilker read popular children’s books. Wilker then invited students to listen their audiobooks on the media center’s Macbook computers.

“It’s quite different then when I went to country school,” said an Orchard Hill resident to a student.

Wilker then led students into the media center’s computer lab where residents observed students learn about the basics of computer pixels.

Charlotte Anderson, 92, a retired educator at Jefferson and a resident at Orchard Hill, said she started teaching in 1950 before the school had moved to its present location. From what she saw, she said a lot has changed in the classroom environment and how educators teach students.

“They do a very good job in getting their point across to the kids in a very different way than it was years ago,” Anderson said. “The faculty we saw are excellent and use marvelous teaching techniques.”

Anderson said teaching is a great passion of hers and she enjoys meeting with students.

“I have a lot of hope for the future when I see the young children,” Anderson said. “I think they’re doing a really good job.”

After students and residents drew pictures using a computer game in the media center, they met in Stadick’s classroom where students showed residents the animal reports they’re working on.

Gage Cureton can be emailed at gcureton@nujournal.com.

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