Students and community members recently participated in the 11th annual Senior Day at Rupley Elementary school in Elk Grove Village.
A full range of events -- including student-conducted interviews, lunch, crafts and games -- shaped the day.
After having completed several months of research and preparation, the school day on May 14 began with fifth-grade students conducting one-on-one interviews with a senior community member.
"This is the type of learning experience that cannot be captured online or achieved through a textbook," said Art Fessler, Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 superintendent of schools, who attended the event along with several school board members.
"To observe our students interview and interact with our senior community members was truly amazing, and an experience that our students and our community members will hold on to for many years."
Following the interviews, everyone in attendance was treated to lunch. Parents helped set up and serve.
Forty-four families contributed homemade dishes and much food was generously donated by local restaurants. Food 4 Less, Brown's Chicken, EJ Pierogi, Hibachi Grill, Rammy's Subs, Sweet Baby Ray's, Great American Bagel, Elly's Pancake House, Tensuke, Maggiano's, Peggy Kinnane's, Riccardo's, and Felicia's Market all contributed food. Jarosch Bakery donated a large cake.
"I always enjoy attending this intergenerational event," said Sharon Turban, who was one of the 84 seniors who volunteered their time, representing veterans, District 59 retirees and community members. "Sharing my history broadens the student's perspective, affording them a clearer look into the past. Both students and seniors benefit from the exchange of information."
The afternoon was filled with crafts, card games and bingo.