Montessori One, in collaboration with Amaran Senior Living, encourages intergenerational activities among students and seniors, through an essay contest held by The Department of Senior Affairs.

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Montessori One has just announced some of their students were winners of the 39th Annual “A Senior I Know” intergenerational essay contest, co-sponsored by the City of Albuquerque and Albuquerque Public Schools. The school works in collaboration with Amaran Senior Living, an assisted living and memory care facility on its campus where seniors and students participate in multiple intergenerational activities together. The children were asked to choose a significant senior in their life and write about that person for the essay contest, and the winning essays were selected to highlight the best of the students’ writing and to show the joy and connection that can come from their relationships with senior citizens.

The City held a drive-thru award ceremony this past Thursday, May 5, 2021, at 4:30 pm at the Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center, 501 Elizabeth SE. The ceremony recognized the students who wrote the winning essays and timed the ceremony in May because it is Older Americans Month. Thirty students in total were chosen from over 900 entries in the Albuquerque area, and six were chosen from Montessori One.

“The pandemic increases the sense of isolation our older residents are feeling, so this contest is a heart-warming opportunity for younger generations to connect with the seniors who have had an impact on their lives,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

The essays submitted in this contest show the importance of the relationships between seniors and elementary school children. The students’ involvement in activities with the seniors at Amaran Senior Living through their Pen Pal program and participation in this contest has encouraged them to appreciate previous generations, learn from them, and connect with them on a deeper level. It promotes a type of intergenerational connection and learning that is often undervalued in the modern world and gives children access to a world of stories, knowledge, and connection that they would miss out on otherwise. In addition, the connection helps seniors to interact with the younger generation and feel connected to the world around them. The intergenerational partnership between Montessori One and Amaran Senior Living is unique to Albuquerque and senior living and aspires to deliver a cross-generational experience that offers an avenue to share a lifetime of experience, skills, knowledge, and wisdom to the past and next generations.