Students in Estevan turn seniors' memories into books

Elementary school students in Estevan, Sask., became authors this year of some special books: biographies of local seniors.

Grade 7, 8 kids write 'legacy books' based on tales from senior home residents

Frank deBoth, left, and Dick Willows were delighted to receive their legacy books. (Submitted by Shelly Veroba)

Elementary school students in Estevan, Sask., became authors this year of some special books: biographies of local seniors.

Sacred Heart School Grade 7 and 8 students wrote "legacy books" based on the reminiscences of Creighton Lodge residents — some who are in their 90s.

"I thought it would be a great opportunity for our kids to get to know some seniors in the community," teacher Megan Vanstone told CBC Radio's Morning Edition. "It just turned into something that I really couldn't have anticipated."

Over several months, the young and the old spent time together, telling stories and becoming friends.

Last week, the children presented the seniors with some personalized Christmas presents.

One of the things I learned from [my grandmother] is that you don't need a phone or technology to do something fun.- Keira Phillips

Keira Phillips, 12, was among those giving a handmade book to her interview subject.

In her case, it was her grandmother Josephine.

Elementary school students in Estevan, Sask., became biographers of local seniors this year as a way to get to know the elders of the community. (Submitted by Megan Vanstone)

"She was really kind and everything," Phillips said, adding that she appreciated her grandma's patience.

"That's a lot of work to come down and visit with us a lot. [We] ask so many questions and sometimes you don't want to do that all the time."

Phillips said she learned much from her grandmother's tales of growing up on the farm.

"I think one of the things I learned from her is that you don't need a phone or technology to do something fun," she said.

Josephine loved her book, she said.

Vanstone hopes the legacy book idea can continue in future years: "It's definitely a project that needs to happen again."

The students gathered information for the books over several months of spending time with their subjects and listening to their stories. (Submitted by Megan Vanstone)

With files from CBC Radio's Morning Edition