Four buses arrived on campus Tuesday morning, greeted by Middle School boys eager to welcome some special visitors to SAC.
On May 22, we hosted about 40 seniors from two long-term care residences in Newmarket and Maple, and from two seniors’ day programs in Maple and Keswick. The boys helped the visitors make their way to Wirth Theatre, positioning wheelchairs so the guests could easily see the screen as the School’s new five-minute video was shown.
Headmaster Kevin McHenry shared the history of St. Andrew’s in Aurora and welcomed them to the School.
“It is a privilege for our boys and our teachers to get to know you,” he said to the group.
This is the third year seniors have taken a field trip to St. Andrew’s to check out the campus, chat with boys, and enjoy lunch in Cole Hall. The boys had already met many of the seniors when the students visited their residences as part of their community service initiative.
“The partnership with SAC started during the 2015/2016 school year. One of our staff members suggested that after SAC’s visits for the school year, we ask to visit SAC,” said Betsy Anderson, volunteer coordinator of Maple Health Centre and Newmarket Health Centre. “They invited us with open arms!”
St. Andrew’s students visit with seniors once a month in October, November, January, February, and April. They join in games of bingo and scavenger hunts, participate in arts and crafts, and help out with pumpkin carving and planting. Some of the seniors have children or grandchildren who are Andreans so there are some extra special connections!
The seniors on the SAC field trip were also treated to a video called Interviews with Wonderful Seniors that was created by boys who visited with members of the Keswick Gardens Adult Day Program. It showed photos of seniors now and in years past plus facts about their families and personal history.
Following the presentations in Wirth Theatre, the boys accompanied the visitors to Cole Hall where tables had been reserved for them, then helped serve a meal of salmon, rice, and veggies.
After lunch, the boys and seniors made their way to the Robert & Jilla Williams Band Room to take in a performance of the Middle School Band – a truly interactive experience with the guests clapping along.
“We have also been fortunate to have two SAC students play bagpipes for our annual Remembrance Day event as well as part of our Holiday Variety Show,” Betsy said.
“We are grateful for the partnership with St. Andrew’s College.”
The feeling is mutual. “Thank you for allowing us into your world,” Sabrina D’Angelo, Director of Middle School, said to the special guests.
Story by Julie Caspersen