What do you get when you bring over 20 pre-schoolers to put on a play in the local nursing home?
A lot of singing, dancing, smiles, hugs and Christmas cheer.
That’s what happened last Wednesday, when a class from Rainbow Nursery School in Woodlands visited St Eunan’s Nursing Home to stage their Christmas Show.
This was the first time the two communities worked together, bringing young and old into the same space for festive fun.
Under the expert guidance of Speech and Drama teacher Karen Murphy, the enthusiastic little performers showed off all their singing and acting skills to the delight of the residents. The children had colourful props, entertaining stories and big voices for their variety show, which ended with a series of carols to get everyone singing, clapping and toe-tapping.
After the show, there was time for the young stars to meet their appreciative audience.
The collaborative event was hailed as a great success by Rainbow Nursery School and St Eunan’s.
Karen Murphy, who runs Karen Murphy Speech, Drama & Communications and holds weekly classes at the creche, had originally come up with the idea.
Karen told Donegal Daily: “I was coming to class one morning, and I saw a food van delivering to the home and I thought it was a great service. Then I realised that we have a service too, we’re right next door, why wouldn’t we reach out?”
“Out of all the shows I’ve had this week, just seeing the smiles and the connection has just been fantastic,” she added.
Deirdre Murdy, manager of St. Eunan’s Nursing Home said: “Thank you to Rainbow Creche and thanks Karen Murphy for coming here to visit the residents.
“At Christmas it’s really nice to get everybody in the community working together. It’s really nice to see a twinkle in everybody’s eye, especially the little ones. The residents were delighted to have them here and it’s great to see a twinkle in the residents’ eyes as well,” Deirdre added.
Patricia Mc Brearty, owner of Rainbow Montessori and Playschool, said the play and St Eunan’s visit was a wonderful way to enhance their Aistear curriculum by providing an opportunity to promote community involvement.
The initial idea gathered great support from Deirdre Murdy and the pupils’ parents, who greeted it with interest and enthusiasm.
Patricia said: “We felt that it would provide a valuable and meaningful learning experience for the children and the residents of St. Eunan’s.”
Patricia recalled a funny moment in the lead up to the Christmas Show: “To prepare for the visit and to practice walking safely, the children walked over to St. Eunan’s on a number of occasions and waved in the windows at the residents.
“One little boy said, ‘That’s the place where grannies and grandas live, and you have to be over 4 to live there!’”
Patricia added that the event could be the beginning of a whole new initiative.
“This is a new and exciting idea for the children and the residents and we look forward to working together, sharing ideas and moving forward with a “Try it and See” approach and maybe we can come back and perform another little Christmas show next year.”Tags: