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Equinox program recognized

The School District 72 Equinox program has been awarded $1,000 from the BC Retired Teachers’ Association in recognition of its bi-weekly “Equinox Connection” visits with seniors at Yucalta Lodge.

The BC Retired Teachers’ Association Golden Star Award recognizes and rewards programs in the public education system that features intergenerational projects in their teaching curriculum.

Equinox is an alternate school program based at Robron Centre for students in grades 10 to 12. The program includes a course in leadership to develop self-awareness, communication, planning and goal setting skills through a variety of situations in class, school, and the community.

Through Equinox Connection, students help Yucalta residents to participate in arts and crafts, games, and seasonal decorating activities. Their assistance can range from helping the seniors get to and from the recreation area, helping them participate in the activity, or just visiting and providing social interaction to residents who may not feel like participating.

According to teacher Michelle Merkel, there are many spin off benefits to the students, as well as the seniors.

“Students are given the opportunity to communicate and interact with members of the community that they might otherwise not have contact with. They develop empathy, learn about different careers from residents in the home and from the staff at Yucalta, and expand their communication skills as they communicate with some residents who have difficulty with verbal communication.”

“You get to learn about how life was like before our time,” adds student Conrad Rousselle about visiting with the seniors.

The award money will go towards the continuation of Equinox Connection and other educational opportunities within the Equinox program.

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