Here's to the future of Rainier!
Last year was challenging for many of us. COVID-19, lock-downs, masks, school closures and all of the heartache that went along during these challenging times.
Many of us were ill last year from the middle of December through February. We've talked among ourselves wondering if we had that virus during that time. That was the worst flu season I've ever experienced. We had seniors with pneumonia, bronchitis, flu and URI's. Those that were ill, were ill for several weeks. Many went to their doctors for treatments several times.
This year, we have few people who contracted colds or the flu. I don't know if it's because of the "Stay Safe, Stay Home" orders with the accompanying guidelines. It was nice to be free from the flu and colds, tho!
Seniors working with Students:
We have grandparents at our center who are helping their children and grandchildren as they struggle through these challenging times. Our hearts break for parents and students that have been on the "virtual learning" programs. Students need to interact with their friends and other people. Being a parent is a tremendous responsibility. That being said, parents can't be everything to their children. This is a difficult situation for everyone involved.
School helps children grow. Besides academic learning, children need to develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, emotional skills, social skills in addition to academic skills. All of these skills are developed over time while interacting with other people their own age under the guidance of professionals.
Parents are now struggling with not only providing for their children, they're also struggling to teach their children as well, with no compensation, as teachers struggle to help everyone online. Distance learning is difficult under the best circumstances.
The Senior Center of Rainier helped our young parents host an outdoor Halloween Parade. We had "Halloween In Quarantine" coloring and pumpkin carving contests, as well as a parade. Over 200 kids got treats, while social distancing with their parents in the parade. You can see pictures of the parade in the Nisqually Valley News on their November 5, 2020 edition. Look at www.yelmonline.com.
The Kids Christmas Store was cancelled in Yelm, by the Yelm Lions and Rainier Booster Club couldn't host their store because of the school closure, so the Senior Center partnered with the Rainier Chapel and held a Kids Christmas Store on Friday, December 4, 2020 from 4 - 7 PM. Children and parents wore masks and practiced social distancing. All gifts were under $10.00. Many local businesses came with special gifts for children to buy for their friends and family. Free gift wrapping was provided by Trish & Bruce from Rossi Boots.
The Rainier Quilting Guild made special, patchwork Christmas Stockings. The Senior Center of Rainier filled the stockings and Santa came by ambulance, gave out the stockings to the kids. We gave out all 80 stockings as well as a few extras. Santa and the kids glanced elbows.
Tonight We Love Rainier WA, a local grassroots civic organization, hosted a "Lantern Walk" for our kids and their families. It started at around 5:30 behind the Chevron Station and everyone walked to Wilkowski Park. This is where there were treats, beverages and a small fire pit where kids could burn their notes about things they didn't like about 2020 as well as hopes and dreams for 2021. Rachele Stephenson's video of the 2020 Lantern Walk.
As County Commissioner Gary Edwards says "Kids may be 30% of our population, but they are 100% of our future".