Seniors donate school supplies, read to kindergarteners at Newhall Elementary

Newhall Elementary students listen as Byrd Holland and other seniors from Atria Senior Living read stories to them on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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In honor of World Gratitude Day, six seniors from Atria Senior Living visited Newhall Elementary School Thursday to read children’s books to kindergarten students.

Students sat in awe as they listened to each senior read books like “If You Take a Mouse to School” and “I Need My Monster” with special voices, hand gestures and facial expressions.

“I think it’s great for the kids to see, not a lot of them have grandparent figures to read to them,” said Claudia Arrue, community liaison for Newhall Elementary School.

Byrd Holland reads the picture book “Leo the Lightning Bug” to a class of Newhall Elementary students on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The group of seniors also wrote thank you cards to the school’s teachers and donated a large bucket of school supplies—including glue, crayons, pencil, colored pencils, markers, notebooks and pencil holders—to the entire elementary school.

“We got more [school supplies] than we expected,” said Liz Megraw, engage life director at Atria Senior Living.  “We asked the office what they wanted and they gave us a list and I just posted that list in our lobby.”

Arrue said the school asked for specific items that it usually ran out of throughout the course of the year.

“Most of our kids go through crayons and pencils pretty quickly and to replace those we use our school funds,” Arrue said.

Although the elementary school regularly sends cards to seniors during the holidays, it was the first time the group visited the school to interact with students.

“We have a lot of things we’re planning to do with them,” Arrue said.  “A lot of them have done so many different things so we might have a career day with them.”

Newhall Elementary students listen as seniors from Atria Senior Living read stories to them on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

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