Here are quotes from past participants in full immersion intergenerational projects, and supporters of the initiative.

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“This project (Meadows School full Immersion Project) has such a strong ethical base, and so much compassion. It will, it WILL spread everywhere. It is the great idea whose time has come.

I wish this project was happening in Ontario.  Well, I wish it was happening everywhere… Something this good should be imbedded in the school system. I have known other inter-generational programs (a choir, for instance, of seniors and kids) but this is the best.

Your project is glorious and the good news of it should be spread far and wide.”

– June Callwood, Project Mentor, Toronto, ON


“Her Excellency encourages you to continue your efforts to break down the solitudes and bring generations of Canadians together… These are real, concrete and lasting contributions.”

– Office of Governor General Michaelle Jean, February 2007


“Strong bonds were developed between seniors and students and a real sense of caring, trust and understanding became apparent.  Students maintain their contacts with the seniors for the entire school year and in some cases even beyond.  The lives of both seniors and students were greatly enriched as a result of this amazing learning experience.  The project has become a tremendous success and has helped fill an important need in the community.”

– Chairperson of the School Board on the Meadows School Project


The Meadows School Project, from an administrator’s perspective, is a wonderful window into how students’ learning experiences in school today, can be extended into the day to day world of seniors, resulting in powerful learning for both seniors and youth. The Meadows School Project learning experiences apply many if not all of the “Principles of Constructivism”, as cited by Lambert (2003) citing Walker (2002). …In summary, The Meadows School Project and the model of learning that it illustrates, present us as educators and citizens with a po    werful and proven way to “connect our past with the present, and the future.”

– Principal of the Project for 7 years


“I believe that this intergenerational project, the Meadows School Project, gives our society an opportunity to regain much of what has been lost in our super-paced lifestyle where seniors are often marginalized and families have little time for in-depth and regular communication. …I have been warmed by the love and respect I saw growing, and the maturity of students taking responsibility for more of their learning activities, and, along the way, demonstration notable personal development, confidence, and care and concern for others.” 

– Education Colleague



“The loving connections that these children form with the elderly people teach them about things that really matter-things they will never forget in their lifetime.  What love and understanding comes from this project!  Bravo!  This is what our world needs.”

– Education Colleague


“Having young people in the community and their parents and grandparent visit our senior community, makes them familiar with what we do.  As in all businesses, community awareness is an integral part of our success.  Meadows School has proven to be very successful in making the learning process for the students interesting and fun as well as introducing our residents to young people of the community.”

– Facility Owner


“That was one of the richest mornings of my life. I not only admire the work you are doing, I love it. You have charged the seniors lives with more energy and openness, and charged the students lives with more compassion.  Wow!

I am so happy to have witnessed your program…indeed a model for the rest of Canada.”

– Shelagh Rogers, Sounds Like Canada host, visit by CBC Radio


“Your show last week featuring the teacher who taught her BC class in the nursing home was just superb!  I wished instantly I could take a recording of the whole show and have every school and nursing home listen to it and be inspired.  Our cultural “apartheid” of keeping the children, adults and the aged separated is one of those unfortunate and unhealthy features that I wish we would change in Canada.  The show left me feeling so amazingly good.”

– CBC Listener, Alberta


“With many of our seniors feeling withdrawn and missing many of their friends, families and once routine activities, this project is nothing but positive and beneficial for everyone involved. The children bring energy and enthusiasm, and the seniors five their histories and special stories. Our seniors have the opportunity to pass along memories about many things that may otherwise be soon forgotten.”

– Staff at the centre-activity director

“I was very moved by your piece on Sharon MacKenzie and her innovative idea of moving her classroom into the nursing home for a period of time each year.  Her dedication and tenacity changed the lives of the students and seniors…..I hope that lost of other teachers were listening to that piece and will entertain the idea in their communities.”

– CBC Listener, Ontario

“It was a good thing breaking down the wall between seniors and kids.  It really filled a spot in my heart.  They will probably have a better life knowing that someone other than their family cares for them.  I learned to have very good manners where ever I am, and to be very kind and don’t call them old folks or man, dude, etc.  and to keep your antennas out.”

– Female student grade 5

“I think and know it is a great idea to have this project here.  It is very enjoyable to have interaction with the children.  In my mind 99% of the kids enjoy and    learn a great deal from this interaction.  The children are wonderful company and they enjoy hearing stories from long before their time. I SINCERELY hope this project continues on a long term basis as it is beneficial for all concerned.”

– 92 year old Project Participant for 6 years

“I am very proud to be asked to be with the children and share their problems and to be able to help them anyway I can. I love them and they do respond in that way. It has been a pleasure to share in their development. At 88 years of age it has done good for me walking, shooting pool, with the group. I love them!”

– 88 year old Project Participant for 5 years

“Meadows School was like a wake up call for me. It makes me feel like I’ve taken life for granted. Life is short and precious but I feel terrible because I have two great grandmothers that live here in Vernon. I only see them once or twice a year. Coldstream Meadows was like a reality check. I need to spend more time with my family. This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved it.”

– Male student

“Children ask intelligent questions, stimulating my brain as I pass on memories long forgotten, but which come back to me as I see how interested in the past these young students are.”

– 91 years old Project Participant for 3 years

“We consider the Meadows School Project a huge success. It nurtures a healthy environment for student and seniors alike. The socialization is a tremendously valuable part of the project. It instills confidence, caring, sharing and an understanding of others for both the young and the elderly. The responsibility and response from these interactions tends to heeds, befriends generations, promotes excellence in understanding, communicating and empathy.”

– Daughter of a senior resident

“I thought this project was very successful. My daughter gained new friendships with an age group that is essentially difficult or impossible to orchestrate outside of this model.  The class behaved so well and showed respect to their elders. It was so obvious that the seniors loved these children. Any reservations by doubting seniors or children seemed to fade away quickly after contact was made.”

– Parent of student

“The children were all so polite and gentle with the elders. They helped with writing and reading which some of us could not do, as well as playing games of all sorts.  It was a great time of togetherness for all.  Some of our grandchildren are many miles away, so this is a great time for us as well. I think this project should be kept up indefinitely for the good of all.”

– Senior Participant for 2 years

“I definitely do like the idea of having the students getting involved with the exchange. Without children it is so dull, they bring new ideas. I would say that it is an asset to have the children in our lives.”

– 90 years old Project Participant for 3 years

“The Meadows project is really a good idea. The seniors like it, and we like it. I feel just like at home when we’re there. I like being there with everyone. It makes me feel good and proud inside because we’re helping the seniors and giving them the chance to do activities that they did when they were children. Going there gives us a chance to know what it is like to get older.”

– Female student grade 6

“I watched the confidence of these grade six children soar. The seniors were delighted and eager to share their history and time with these kids. I speak with pride about this project to many people and receive nothing but positive admiration from them. I have been unhappy with the fact that we do not pay tribute to the value our seniors have for us and our future. The experience touched each of us, including me.”

– Parent of student

“I liked it when we had to visit the seniors and have appointments. The activities we had to do with them were fun, like setting the tables, going to town and making winter homes for animals. I think other schools should do the big project. It’s good to have kids and seniors together.”

– Male student grade 7

“The thing that I liked the best was being with and enjoying the seniors. I liked talking to them and hearing their stories. Some of the stories were boring, but we listened anyways, some were really interesting.”

– Male student grade 6

“When you walk by the sweet and kind seniors, you get a funny feeling in your stomach. Do you know what that is. It is love!!”

– Female student grade 6

“I think this is an excellent project, and I think every school in Canada should do this project. It helps with your social skills and you learn a lot of things too. This project is fun and interesting. The only problem is when the project is done people don’t want to leave the seniors’ home.”

– Male student grade 6

“The hardest thing to do was to say goodbye!”

– Female student grade 7

“I learned that seniors aren’t couch potatoes. They can do anything that we can do, almost. I hope that when I become an old senior, I can do this project with kids in the future. I really liked it there. It became just like a home to me.”

– Female student grade 6

“At the Meadows I got to visit, learn, and express my feelings with the seniors. I learned lots of different things about several seniors. They described and placed their knowledge into the long time memory better than any history book.”

– Male student grade 6

“I thought it was the best thing in the world. Just to be able to meet someone who cares for you as much as your family does. I learned that seniors are fun and special and just want someone to talk to and to love them as much as they love us. I now care about seniors so much more. I think every class should go back there.”

– Female student grade 7

“This project is the greatest way to learn. I think everyone in the country should do this project. I learned a lot about all the seniors’ lives. A lot of them lived in farm houses and had buggies and horses.”

– Male student grade 5

“I wish to thank you so very much for the opportunity you gave my mother to once again be with young children. She told me this summer that your project was the highlight of her three years at Coldstream Meadows.”

– Daughter of a senior resident

“The difference that I notice in the seniors while the students are here is amazing! The energy from the children lifts their spirits. I have seen seniors who have been weak for a number of days completely do a 180 degree turn when a child is in the room with them. /this project definitely bridges the gap between old and young and erases any stereotypes that the two age groups may have about each other. One lady here felt so important because she was “taking the children for a walk.”  It gives the seniors a sense of independence and it aids in their social well being, as well as their emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well being.”

– Staff at the centre-activity director

“The interaction with the seniors is fantastic and gives them something to look forward to. I have seen a lot of great friendships come from this project.”

– Staff at the centre

“It is nice for the staff to get to know the kids and to see how happy it makes the seniors when they are here. They don’t just do activities they also help in the dining area which is a great work experience to see what the staff has to do. This is a wonderful project and I think it should happen more often and in different seniors’ homes.”

– Staff at the centre

“Having the children here at the Meadows has benefited everybody it touched. From the students, residents, students’ families and staff at the Meadows, we have all had a learning experience. Many of the children and also our residents do not have intergenerational contacts in their lives as the result of families being spread all over the world. This project affords them the opportunity to learn about each others’ lives. You need to see the light in their eyes. This is a great project.”

– Staff at the centre-housekeeping

“The highlight of the Meadows School experience for our son was “making their day”. He loved the interaction and looked forward to daily visits, activities and interviews with the seniors. As parents we appreciated the sense of community the project promoted. Each day was filled with multiple tasks that both incorporated academics with local history and community and personal service.”

– Parent of student

“We feel having the children involved in the Meadows Project has been an invaluable learning lesson. Having the children interacting with the seniors is a great thing. It is so nice having the children learning about life in the world rather than in their desks.”

– Parent of student

“I would suggest that if I had only one thing I could mention regarding this project it would be ‘environment’. The children move away from the schoolyard to the spiritual, fragile and relaxed care of the seniors. They seem to become children again.  It reminded me of my school days. Elders surrounded us, safety, love respect.”

– Parent of student

“This has been a great experience for my child because it provided a unique opportunity to learn things about human interaction that are not readily available in the traditional classroom.”

– Parent of student

“It may appear that this project is all fun, but in coordinating their participation in all the activities, children are taught to multi-task, coordinate themselves, plan, organize, be responsible, and follow through on commitments, as well as be flexible. They also get a great lesson in intergenerational companionship—something a lot of adults could use.”

– Parent of student

“I believe the project is great for the children, as it teaches them what it is like to be with seniors and what we get like when we are old.  In the long term hopefully the children will want to keep visiting and maybe eventually volunteer.”

– Parent of student

“Using all of the information that I’ve gathered, I have learned that the children modify their behaviour to adjust to the seniors’ home.  Most of the children said that the environment changed their behaviour, while seven said that they kept their usual behaviour. The children felt that they had to act properly, be nice and watch their language, to earn the seniors’ respect. When they first came in they felt nervous, but become friends with many of the seniors. They really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place too. Everyone was nice to one another.”

High School Psychology student’s notes on alternative learning environment in the Meadows School ProjectTM

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