Red Bank teacher takes students into assisted living

Students from Red Bank pitch ideas to seniors in assisted living.

Chattanooga is known for innovation. The classrooms in our local schools are no exception.

On a Monday morning in October, hese Red Bank Elementary fourth graders didn't walk in to class. Just a mile away from their school, this room full of Manorhouse assisted living residents serves as their Shark Tank.

Beth Wilson is their teacher and organized meetings between the students and seniors. "They learned about how they are concerned about falling and they have a hard time moving their hands and they like games just like they do." The idea for this i-Gen classroom is part of a Teacherpreneur program, encouraging teachers to pitch ideas that will revolutionize education.

Ms. Wilson immediatley knew what she wanted to do. "I drive past here everyday and I have a grandmother in Texas who is 105 and I don't get to visit her. I thought if someone could come visit grandma I would love it so we are kind of doing the pay it forward here."

Fourth graders Taylor Hurst and Peyton Allison created a tabletop golf game, making the sport of standing and swinging a little easier for those past the back nine. "People said it's hard to stand up for them so we thought they could play this on a table but they could still get the idea of golf," Hurst says.

Their design, made especially for Billy Soloff. "I loved to play golf before I broke my hip. I played all the time up to then." Billy desperatley misses her favortie pasttime, but now she's getting a chance to find a new swing, even if it is a little smaller. Just like her new friends.

Wilson says she hopes to, one day, set up a permanent classroom in a local assisted living center, taking academic work and social skills into this unique setting every day.

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