Program manager Lori Jones-Chizewski is filmed making a number of announcements during Main Street Terrace's very first video newsletter, created by a college student during her placement at the home.
Video and music engaging to Main Street residents
Student infuses work experience and passion into projects
Main Street Terrace residents recently packed the screening of the Toronto home’s first-ever video newsletter and the performance of a Broadway-style revue, both of which featured a number of them.
And the events got rave reviews.
“I loved the show. I especially loved it because I was a participant and I love getting to take part in things,” says resident Violet Soundy, who acted in the revue as she was serenaded.
Resident Joan Steckley says she’d “never been to a Broadway show before so this was a wonderful experience.” She adds she “would have stood up and danced” if she could have.
Both projects were the culmination of George Brown College activation/gerontology student Jill Léger’s five-month placement at the Revera home. She infused her past broadcast journalism experience and passion for musical theatre into the work.
Program manager Lori Jones-Chizewski says Léger and a fellow George Brown student “set the bar very high” for their peers and inspired team members with their ideas, talents and energy.
“They help us reach so many residents,” Jones-Chizewski says.
Léger says more than a dozen residents were involved in the 15-minute video newsletter, ranging from a documentary-style piece on one individual’s contribution to the war effort, to man-on-the-street interviews.
Residents of varying cognitive abilities were featured to show that “everyone who wanted to participate could contribute something,” Léger says. She notes that the video benefited residents on many levels, such as being able to answer questions, recall past experiences and enjoy sharing and being in the spotlight.
“It’s really helping residents in different areas to improve their quality of life, which is our mandate as activation co-ordinators,” says Léger, who describes making the video as “a labour of love” and one of her “favourite things in the world to do.”
Attending the video’s screening, Jones-Chizewski says it captured the audience.
“They were just so excited, there was lots of clapping and applause going on,” she says, noting the video is being shown via portable DVD player to residents who couldn’t attend the premiere.
With its salute to volunteers, the video will also be shown at Main Street Terrace’s volunteer appreciation event. Jones-Chizewski sees it also a great promotional tool to show to families.
The hour-long entertainment show, called Curtain Up, Broadway on Main Street, featured Toronto-area musical theatre performers plus residents and a family member. She says the show gave young singers a chance to perform and brought the fine arts to residents.
Léger, who was the creative force behind the content and performed a duet with a resident, says the audience was rapt and engaged, enjoying the calibre of voices, mixture of songs and interactivity, which included a singalong and autograph session.
With all of the positive feedback and support her projects received at Main Street Terrace, Léger is investigating ways to bring them both to more long-term care homes.
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