Fourth-Graders Meet BRC Residents For Monthly Lunches

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October 18, 2018
Make A Meal Of It
Fourth-Graders Meet BRC Residents For Monthly Lunches
Daily News-Record  10/18/18
BRIDGEWATER — Fourth-graders Dillan Kiracofe and Cora McCombe stare intently at Odile Proctor as she talks about growing up in New York City.
Proctor is a resident of the Bridgewater Retirement Community, and Dillan and Cora are students at John Wayland Elementary School.
You might not think these three wouldn’t find much to talk about. But every month residents from the retirement community come to the school to dine with fourth-grade students, and the experience is “We get to talk and learn about their lives,” Dillan said. “[Proctor] grew up in New York and when she was a kid she had a nurse that would come by to take care of her. And one day her dog got out and the nurse had to chase it and she caught it in a graveyard.” Cora reiterated the stories about Proctor’s pets and added about lunch, “It’s really fun. It’s a good connecting opportunity between us and them.” Merv Wunderlich, a resident at Bridgewater Retirement Community for two years, also reads to John Wayland first-graders on Thursday mornings in addition to the monthly lunches with fourth-graders. When asked what he enjoys most about his monthly lunches, Wunderlich said: “The questions for the students. Today, we were talking about where they wanted to go to college and what they wanted to study.” Along with letting students ask about their lives,
Wunderlich enjoys asking the children questions. For example, during Wednesday’s lunch, he asked one girl what her favorite subject was. Instead of getting the usual answer of recess or lunch, she said her favorite subject was science and that her class was studying ecology. The fourth-grade classes rotate each month to keep the lunches small. But each class will get to have two lunches with residents of Bridgewater Retirement Community during the school year.
While this is only the second year that John Wayland has hosted the monthly lunches, the two institutions have a long-standing partnership. Along with the monthly lunches, residents read to students weekly and students make Easter baskets every year with residents.