Kindergarten in a retirement home proves a hit with young and old

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The sun-drenched common room at the south end of Columbia Garden Village retirement home in Invermere, B.C., is quiet most days. The shuffle of slippers on linoleum, the clink of a coffee mug in the sink, or the click of knitting needles are often the only sounds.

But every Tuesday and Friday, 18 kindergartners from Eileen Madson Primary School arrive in a yellow school bus and take over, turning the home’s common room into a classroom, and the home’s residents into active participants. The kindergartners go about their lessons, crafts and play time surrounded by the seniors who live there. Some elders watch from the sidelines, others roll up their sleeves and build block towers or indulge in a reading of a Scooby-Doo storybook.

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