Part of Things: Dunbar Village elders connect with students at Holy Trinity
By Cassandra Favre, Staff Writer
Feb 14, 2017, 17:32
From left, Norma Edler and Dunbar Village's Director of Rehab Chrissy Flynn work together painting a superhero shirt for a student in the three-year-old class at Holy Trinity Catholic School. Photo by Cassandra Favre
Last week, elders at Dunbar Village in Bay St. Louis channeled their inner artistic abilities by painting shirts for Holy Trinity Catholic School's three-year-old class.
Marcie Longo, the three-year-old's teacher, said her "room moms" usually take on the task of painting the students' Field Day shirts. The students also wear them during the school's annual Mardi Gras parade.
One of the "room moms" is Dunbar Village's Director of Rehab Chrissy Flynn.
"I said I have the perfect people to do this," Flynn said. "My kids love being here and participating with the elderly. It closes that generational gap. It gives the elders purpose. Therapy is not just about doing exercises."
Longo said this year's classroom theme is "Superheroes," so the shirts have a depiction of child-sized superhero.
Longo said it's important for the students to know who is in the community, including the wisdom and love the elders can return.
"Three-year-olds love so readily and are full of hugs and kisses," she said.
In April, students will be sharing their love with the elders at Dunbar Village.
Each grade at Holy Trinity selects a service project, Longo said. The younger children collect stuffed animals and distribute them at Dunbar Village and the hospital, she said.
Longo said she plans to have her class wear the superhero shirts during their visit with the elders.
"We can have the people that made them sign them or put the student's and elder's handprint on the shirt," she said. "Something that can be used as a keepsake. I'm thrilled that we are making this connection. It's so important for the older and younger people. It's a fantastic way to spread God's love."
Dunbar Village elder Norma Davis said she is no stranger to painting.
"I used to paint my house," she said. "When my husband would come from home from work, the bedroom would be a different color with matching curtains."
Davis said the shirts will teach preschool students how to interact with people during the parade.
"I enjoy doing activities likes this," Davis said. "It makes you feel like you are part of things again."
Doris Peterson, an elder at Dunbar Village, paints a superhero on a shirt for a student in the three-year-old class at Holy Trinity Catholic School. Photo by Cassandra Favre