Maple Suites seniors return to the classroom for book club inspired event
The creative writing group of Holiday Retirement's Maple Suites community joined 10th grade English classes at Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire, for a cross-generational book club activity. The Rochester seniors met with local high school students to discuss the book For One More Day by Mitch Albom.
The unique gathering was inspired by a Spaulding student who also works at Maple Suites. The student noticed the community’s active creative writing and book club and mentioned it to his English teacher. She contacted Maple Suites' enrichment coordinator Monique Foote and they quickly began planning the book discussion between seniors and students.
Six Maple Suites residents traveled to Spaulding High School and met with two classes of sophomores to discuss insights on the book, which touches on family issues and self-examination. In an engaging discussion, the group talked about how different life experiences between the two age groups shaped their views.
Despite initial apprehensions about communicating across a wide age gap, the seniors and students became comfortable quickly and lively discussion soon flowed—covering topics including love, legacy, failure and family. In a Foster's Daily Democrat article, students described the discussion as "enlightening" while the seniors praised students for their attentiveness and wished for more time to continue the conversation.
"This event was designed to bring together two very different groups of people to share their experiences and find common ground," said Foote, calling the event an "incredible success" that went even better than initial expectations.
As Foote described, "Both seniors and students found the meeting valuable, and there is already talk about collaborating again next semester."
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