Residents from The Hamptons, a Tyler retirement community, have returned to elementary school.
When Dixie Elementary School counselor Crystal Crisp visited her mother at The Hamptons, she was introduced to a thriving, vibrant community. Her students needed mentors and the seniors wanted to make a difference, she said.
“The students need to be exposed to different things. It’s all about the relationships and the community,” she said. “I think it’s a win-win for them all.”
On Monday first grade students met with a group of residents for story time.
Retired teacher Joyce McCormac was happy to be back in the classroom.
“These are my age of kids. It’s my favorite age. I love books and sharing teaching,” she said. “One of the things I’ve missed is reading.”
McCormac said one of the most important things she and her friends can share with the students is love and attention.
“They need to know that someone else cares about them and thinks they’re important,” she said. “These are things we can share. I hope they have fun, enjoy the book and I’d love for them to say, ‘I want to read more.’”
Bobby Smith was returning to Dixie for the first time since his son, Randy, had attended the school in the 1950s.
He said the school was where he gained a love for reading and helping students.
“That was an interest I had when Randy first started. I like to see the changes,” he said. “I love kiddos.”
The students were just as excited. They were eager to interact and even wanted to read to their visitors.
Crisp said the residents will return regularly and will begin interacting with the students as pen pals.