two boys at Ida CulverIt was not easy for third grade teacher Karen Helweil to find a residential facility for older adults willing to take on her whole class for a lesson in intergenerational art instruction. The few that were interested only wanted a small number of children, and Helweil felt all the students needed to participate. This was because her class had chosen as its theme "Helping the Community Through the Arts," and many related classroom projects were planned.
Then Helweil called Ida Culver House Broadview, one of the ERA Carefacilities associated with the School of Nursing. Ida Culver House was happy to have the whole class, and the results produced many smiles all around.
Armed with art supplies purchased with the assistance of a special grant, Helweil’s students initiated a carefully designed curriculum that they had developed themselves. The first session involved instruction in origami. Others will include such things such as creating seascapes from crayon rubbings.
"My students are developing the abilities to plan and communicate. After our visit they felt proud and happy to have made new friends. The self confidence they are gaining has led to better relationships with their peers and more positive attitudes towards their school work," comments Helweil.
CREDIT: Ben Hayden, center, and Sean Anderson beam their approval as Vye Eklund, one of their "students" at Ida Culver House, displays the flower she created.