As a part of second grade's service learning experience, students partnered with seniors from Silverado Beverly Place through letter writing. Silverado Beverly Place is an assisted living organization that specializes in memory care. It has been around since 2010 and serves Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood.
The seniors use a similar writer's workshop model as the second graders as a part of their learning community. Creating penpal partnerships was the perfect way to bring this writing unit to life for everyone! After getting to know their senior friends through a series of exchanged letters, our students took a trip to Silverado to finally meet their penpals. Upon arrival, they engaged in a storytelling activity where students asked their senior friends questions, such as:
What was life like for you when you were in second grade?
What's your favorite subject in school?
What's your favorite pastime activity?
What's your favorite part of living in Silverado Beverly Place?
This storytelling exchange was powerful in that students and seniors were able to connect on so many levels and learned they have a lot in common with their each other! Afterwards, our students sang several songs to their senior friends and made sandwiches for the hungry.
Lastly, our students received a grand tour of the Silverado facilities where they had the opportunity to see the game room, salon, reading room, art studio, and gym. One student was overheard saying, "I wish I could live here." All in all, it was a memorable experience for everyone. And now our second graders are excited to write one last letter to thank their senior friends for a wonderful service learning experience!