UPDATE: The El Escorial chapter has been awarded 3rd place in the country by the Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese for their long term project of Tech Time with Ridgecrest Senior Housing in Ridgewood. Every Saturday throughout the school year, students have volunteered to help the residents with navigating the world of technology and designing lessons to help them with relaxation techniques, building balance and strengthening their memory among other activities via phone applications. Many of the residents are Spanish speaking, thus giving the students an opportunity to apply their Spanish skills beyond the classroom. Megan Rotella is the advisor of the Spanish Honor Society and will be awarded with a plaque and monetary award for the society at the National conference in San Diego, CA this July
Description of Activity:
The El Escorial chapter at Ridgewood High School has started an initiative called Tech Time at Ridgecrest Senior Housing development in Ridgewood NJ. Every Saturday from 10-11 am chapter volunteers help the seniors, many of whom are Spanish-speaking, navigate the tech world. The volunteers have helped seniors with checking email, setting up email accounts, Facebook, sending pictures, downloading apps, etc. Recently, chapter volunteers are tying into the seniors' Wellness Challenge by showing them free apps that help them keep track of how many steps/miles they do, a 7 minute tai chi relaxation/balance activity and an app Lumosity to keep their brain sharp :) . The senior center director reported to the chapter adviser that since students presented the walking app to seniors, a group has been meeting each night to walk indoors and some are up to 2 miles...WOW!
At their last session, chapter volunteers helped seniors download games like Solitaire, tic tac toe & chess on the Ipads. One resident who is in her eighties was teaching one of the students to play Solitaire. It has turned out to be a great inter generational experience for all!