The partnership between Georges Vanier Catholic Fine Arts School and Elmwood Residences Inc. began in 2002 with Principal Jim Jelinski, Vice Principal Loralee Doepker and Mel Olauson, Elmwood Volunteer Coordinator. Mel was a retired teacher and he organized volunteers and new partnerships for Elmwood. He had many school contacts and at the time Georges Vanier School was looking for an organization to partner with.
Each school year since 2002, classes from Georges Vanier volunteer to host the residents from the Day Program at Kinsmen Manor, one of Elmwood Residences. The students do a variety of activities with them while they are at the school. Before Christmas, the Georges Vanier Choir goes over to Kinsmen Manor to sing Christmas Carols with the residents and staff. In May, Elmwood Residences invites all the Georges Vanier students and staff that participated throughout the year to enjoy a BBQ lunch and assist the residents in games of Bingo. Georges Vanier brings over all the Bingo prizes.
This partnership is a wonderful way for our students and staff at Georges Vanier to interact with residents that have physical and intellectual challenges. This community involvement is positive and rewarding for all involved.