GSN News Staff

Gilbert Arts Academy students recently honored local senior citizens by sharing time and reading stories together.

Special to GSN
Gilbert Arts Academy sixth-grader Luke Johnson participated in the visit to American Orchards Center, where students read to residents.

Gilbert Arts Academy kindergartners and sixth-graders visited American Orchards Senior Assisted Living Center and read to a group of seniors.

Each kindergartener was paired up with a sixth-grader, and they took turns reading to a senior. Gilbert Arts Academy kindergartners just finished learning about nursery rhymes, so some read, while others sang, classic nursery rhymes such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Little Miss Muffet. “

Kindergartner Liam Redinger said, “It was fun. It helped me to learn to read by myself.”

Sixth-graders helped the younger students with their nursery rhymes and read parts of their chapter books to the seniors as well.

“When we read to them, they helped us read and asked questions so they could understand and they were really nice,” sixth-grader Luke Johnson said.

“Reading with the seniors at American Orchards is one way Gilbert Arts Academy is bringing enjoyment back to reading for students, while at the same time reaching out to the community,” a spokeswoman said.

Aase “Osa” Erickson. American Orchard’s director of life enrichment, said assisted living residents “really enjoyed engaging with the visiting students. Reading is a beautiful way for elders and children to spend time with each other.”

Gilbert Arts Academy is a tuition free K-6 public charter school located on the corner of Elliot and Lindsay roads. It also offers a kindergarten readiness program for 4-year-olds.

American Orchards Senior Assisted Living Center is an assisted living and memory care community in Gilbert, Arizona located on the corner of Guadalupe and Lindsay.,