St. Veronica Church & School

Fourth Grade Students Visit Retirement Centers Monthly

St. Veronica fourth grade students are part of a 30+ year tradition of helping students develop the virtue of mercy. Through monthly visits to area retirement centers and nursing homes, students bring joy and comfort to the residents while deepening their own faith and empathy.

Students do a mixture of activities with residents in a group setting, and adopting a grandparent and visiting with them one-on-one in their rooms. Both settings have proven positive for students and residents. In a small group, students see how their words and actions impact those around them. They learn to respond with mercy when residents are slower, have trouble hearing, or forget things. The one-on-one adoption program is more personal. Often, during unsolicited prayer in the classroom, students pray for adopted grandparents and their families. Sometimes a resident may die during the year and that becomes an emotional learning experience for the entire class.

Students share stories about their school day and projects they are doing like learning about saints for All Saints Day and/or Cincinnati people, places, and things for their Opening Day Parade report. Residents get a chance to reminisce about their experiences and share history and insights, when they are "interviewed" by the students. The finished project is given to the resident. This intergenerational exchange highlights the similarities we all share.

The following is paraphrased from an email received from one resident’s daughter:

For the past several months 3 students from St. Veronica have been coming to visit mom monthly. My mom tells me how much she looks forward to their visits and what they talk about each month. Throughout the month if we are talking about something from my mom's past she will even say, "I have to remember to tell the kids from St. Veronica about that". They have been a delight to her. Thank you for allowing and encouraging the youth to visit nursing homes and for the joy they bring.

The impact of this outreach is clear for all students, residents, and families involved.