At 19 years old, the Week of the Family shows how traditions become better with age.
The younger generation of San Carlos spent quality time with the older generations during the Adopt-A-Grandparent Day at the San Carlos Elms on Jan. 29 as part of the Week of the Family, a town custom.
Partnering with the youth chapter of the Lion’s club, middle school students put on events at The Elms for people who reside there. In the past, they have worked with residents and showed them how to use modern technology.
“I remember when I was in middle school I visited The Elms and taught a woman how to use an iPad. It was really fun to talk because she had a really interesting life,” Amelia Ghilzai, a sophomore at Sequoia, said.
This year, middle schoolers worked with residents to make valentines for veterans.
“Many of the residents lived through the war [WWII] and several are veterans themselves,” event coordinator Susan Rose said. “This is a good way for kids to connect with the older generation so they can see how much they have in common.”
Both the residents and volunteers appreciated that they were able to relate to one another.
“It’s been really fun,” seventh-grader at Tierra Linda Middle School Emily Mannion said. “I don’t think it’s fair that there are so many stereotypes about the elderly.”
One stereotype about the elderly that did ring true was their early meal schedule. At 4:45 p.m., the activity room cleared because dinner had begun. The event started at 4:30 p.m.
Still, the residents seemed to enjoy themselves.
“They [the residents] love spending time with kids. They really need these types of interactions in their lives,” Emillia Mendoza, an administrator at The Elms, said. “It’s important for to the younger generation to see that.”
The intergenerational interaction promoted through Adopt-A-Grandparent reiterates the Week of the Family’s overall message of family and community bonding.
“Our overall focus is families in San Carlos and San Carlos is multigenerational. Week of the Family tries to reflect that,” Rose said.