Resident With Blanket

Smiles and Life Lessons Through Service

Posted on December 05, 2018

For Becki Haar, a fourth grade teacher, her passion to connect students with meaningful service to seniors began in 2000, when she became a co-advisor for student council at Greenvale Park Elementary.

As a service project, she and her students created blankets and delivered them to Northfield Retirement Community’s Care Center. “That simple visit made me realize how much impact we could have on residents and students if there was a relationship built over time,” Becki says. In 2002, she began walking with her students to NRC once a month.

Becki’s goal of teaching students about other generations and offering experiences outside of the classroom continued when she took her position at Sibley Elementary. And, when walking to NRC was no longer feasible, NRC took on paying for the monthly bus rides.

This service has grown into meaningful life lessons for Becki’s classes. She introduces books about visiting nursing homes and imparts lessons, like how to communicate with people who are hard of hearing or have mobility issues.

Join NRC in supporting these meaningful visits from students! Gifts help fund student bus rides to NRC. Checks can be mailed to Mrs. Becki Haar, fourth grade teacher, Sibley Elementary, 1400 Maple Street, Northfield, MN 55057.

Becki is an encourager of community involvement, facilitating collaboration and stewardship between partners and even her own family.

“For nearly 10 years, my grandmother created blankets,” Becki says. “Each year, she made more than 60 blankets and donated 30 to my classroom. When my grandmother became too old to create blankets, my family stepped in, making enough to bring to residents this December.”

Years ago, Becki’s students also began visiting Cannon Valley Suites at NRC, where they met more special friends. One pair was Orwell, a Cannon Valley Suites resident, and his daughter, Cathy Bennetts, another Sibley Elementary teacher. 

Orwell enjoyed the visits, and the annual blankets were of special importance. “My dad cherished the blankets, using them often over his lap,” Cathy says. When Orwell passed away, he was covered with the first and last blanket he received.

This story is from the November 2018 issue of Northfield Retirement Community's newsletter, NRC Insights. Read the full issue here.