ATL. HIGHLANDS – Graduates from the sixth grade at Atlantic Highlands Elementary School had an extra surprise at their promotion ceremony last week. Each received some words of wisdom from a senior citizen thanks to the thoughtfulness and cooperation of Tania Gilpatrick , school staff, Portland Pointe residents ad ther interested community members and organizations.
Tania, a children’s life coach whose office is on Hennessey Blvd., approached officials at school and Portland Pointe, to see if she could ask the residents to write one or two sentences about what advice they would give to a youngster heading out of his first school, heading into secondary school and closer to his future goals in life. She distributed special note paper so the residents could write their thoughts and have them distributed at graduation.
“Hearing from these senior citizens who put so much thought into their advice was a wonderful experience,” the life coach said. “and having them share these ideas with tweens brought together two generations, each of whom can always learn from each other. I was so happy to do it, and so happy to see the wonderful responses we received.”
The advice ranged from “Dream big and remember you are loved!” to “Never, Never give up.” It also included such suggestions as “Always be inquisitive,” and “It costs nothing to be kind.” One senior citizen wrote “A grateful heart is a magnet,” while another penned “Today is today. Then all of a sudden, it’s Yesterday!” a reminder to appreciate and live the present.
Some senior citizens opted to quote from other great minds, including Thomas Edison and Maya Angelou, while Johanna McBride chose to write her own poem: “Behind you are your memories, Before you are your dreams. Around you are all who love you, Within you, is all that you need.”
Many urged the students to “dream, believe, achieve,” or “Believe in Yourself.” One reminded them that “no matter how much bad there is in the world, always know there is so much more good. It’s all about love.”
The life coach said after seeing the reaction of the residents in writing their missives, “I would love to see this bloom into a campaign and have other towns bridge relationships between seniors and youth.” She added if anyone is interested in learning how schools and seniors can get involved or want to volunteer to the campaign they can contact her on her facebook page, Tania Gilpatrick