Last week the local coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil campaign wrote to SD 60 with an appeal for help. Normally, the Daffodil campaign takes place in April, so getting a letter asking for help in October is, at the very least, being extremely proactive. In the past. the BC Cancer Society has taken bunches of freshly cut daffodils to seniors residing at the care home. This practice has been brought to a close, as our new hospital has a strict no scent policy in order to avoid allergic reactions. Freshly cut flowers, while lovely to look at, definitely give off scent. The society's request was that perhaps some of the district's primary students could create paper flowers to be given to seniors in place of the fresh flowers.
I'm happy to report that once this request was passed on to schools it quickly became a case of 'Challenge Accepted!" So far three schools have taken on the task, and I'm confident I'll be hearing from others this week. Despite the six month time gap between when the flowers will be needed, staff and students have eagerly recognized the opportunity for inter-generational interaction. Inter-generational programs are well known for having many benefits for both younger and older generations that participate. Education.com lists some of these benefits as ending age segregation of amongst generations and allowing youth opportunities for service learning. For years our district's achievement contract has included the goal of improving social responsibility in our community's members and inter-generational activities are one of the ways we work towards achieving that goal.
Its perhaps fitting that October is the time when real daffodils need to be planted so that they will be abundant in the spring. Growing socially responsible students is a bit like tending a garden too. We've often said that we want to help our students grow to become persons who are both amongst the best in, AND FOR the world. The willingness of SD 60 staff and students to take on the daffodil challenge demonstrates that we are well on the way down that path.