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Different generations learning together in Duncan

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - Pre-schoolers and senior citizens. Two unlikely groups to be in a classroom together. But that's what works in this Duncan Public School's Pre-K. It's inside the Elk Crossing Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, a building created for the young students and not-so-young residents to learn together.

On Tuesday, it was snack time with a lesson at Elk Crossing. The subject? Apples. And it's a subject that all ages can learn about. No, seriously, all ages. The residents at the Elk Crossing Nursing and Rehab Center joined in, too.

"We enjoy them very much, and they're precious," Wanda Champoux, Elk Crossing resident said.

With an age difference of at least a half a century, residents and the preschoolers sit side by side making paper apples. This was the purpose of this center, which was built two years ago with classrooms for this co-existing learning environment.

Champoux said the kids bring in a new energy every morning.

"Love to watch them on the playground. We stay in, they go out!" Champoux joked.

Putting these two groups together isn't just about having fun. While there is a lot of fun to go around, these students are learning an important life and social skill outside of a typical classroom setting just by participating in these activities with the residents.

And Chasity Payne, the kids' teacher, said she has seen just that.

"The kids are able to see what it's like to show respect and get respect,” Payne said. “When in another setting they might not have those adults in their life to help them model those roles for them."

But the little ones also help with the resident's growth as well.

"Something in here lifts you up. I don't know what it is but it's here!" Champoux said.

Right now, they only have one class, which is about 20 kids. But after they get comfortable in this new setting, they will add a second class in a few years.

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