Bridging the Generation Gap through Reading is a project that Rebecca Elliot developed and implemented in hopes to improve the reading skills of the students at Calhoun Community High. Once a month, for two and a half hours, Rebecca Elliott takes a group of students from Calhoun Community High School to Marian E. Burch Adult Daycare to read and mingle with the residents at the facility. Her project aimed to help increase reading skills of the students and bridge the generation gap. Students are able to eliminate the stigma and stereotypes that are viewed with being a senior citizen or a person with physical or mental disabilities. The desired result for the service-learning project is for the students to develop a positive relationship with the residents. Students became more empathic, compassionate and more understanding of the residents at the facility. One student even gave a resident a balloon and a stuffed animal to celebrate their 93rd birthday. Another desired result, is having the students build confidence in their reading ability. Students showed more confidence speaking in front of people they don’t know, as well as increased reading skills due to many residents making sure they read to them while they were there. Rebecca Elliot and her students spent a total of 12 hours with the residents at Marian E. Burch. Next school year Elliot plans on continuing the service learning project focusing on literacy and the social well being of the residents.
Each year for the past 40 years, HandsOn Battle Creek has honored outstanding volunteers with The Community Volunteer Awards. The award ceremony is to thank the most valuable asset to our community - people who help make a difference. I have decided to nominate Rebecca Elliot from Calhoun Community High as Service Learning Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Elliot has showed tremendous effort in making sure that students are learning and developing a relationship with the residents at Marian E. Burch. She also formed a strong relationship with her students to make sure they feel that they are not going to be left behind. I am glad I am able to work with an educator with a kind heart like Mrs. Elliot.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!