Last Sunday, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) student council visited the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to decorate the space for the holidays, and to spend quality time with Island seniors.
Sophomore class president Annabelle Biggs said, “I think the best thing about going to Windemere is student council getting to share what we do with others and the community. Especially around the holiday season. It brings the [residents] of Windemere some happiness and excitement, and it brings happiness to us as we get to see their reactions to the decorations.”
Visiting the Island’s senior citizens is also a terrific opportunity for student council members to learn from older generations. “Anyone can benefit from hearing the general wisdom the elderly contain,” said student body vice president Jack Holmes. “Getting a different perspective on life can be refreshing.”
According to student body secretary Imani Hall, another benefit of socializing with the elderly is having the chance to interact with different people. “Projects like these also help benefit students by allowing us to engage in our community, which does so much for us,” she said. “Mingling with people at Windemere specifically allows us to build up our interpersonal communication skills, which [are] something that seems to be lost these days.”
Windemere director Betsy Burmeister discussed the importance of creating opportunities for contact between the older and younger generations on the Island. “It’s very important,” she said. “When people are home, they see children, and they interact with their grandchildren and neighborhood kids, and when they come in here, they don’t really see young people anymore.”
“Student council is all about building a happier community in and out of school,” said Jack. “Visiting the elderly is a great way to do this, and spending time with them is always a joy.”