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'It just kind of shows that even the smallest person in the world can make a difference in someone's life.'

More than 100 St. Brigid School students brought holiday cards, signs, and smiles to The Park Danforth living facility in Portland Tuesday.

PORTLAND, Maine — If you think back to your days in elementary school, it was always a joy to be able to get out of the classroom for even just a few minutes.

On Tuesday, students at the St. Brigid School were able to forget about pencils and books and focus more on joy.

More than 100 students ranging from first to eighth grade walked just a few hundred feet down the road to The Park Danforth, a living facility for older Mainers.

Ellen Couture is the director of admissions and marketing at the school and she said working with The Park Danforth is a crucial part of her students' curriculum.

“One of the things that we teach our kids is we need to look out for other people and love our neighbors," Couture said. “It really builds a foundation for who that child is going to grow up to be as a person.”

All month long the students have been learning about generosity and kindness. They were able to put it all into action Tuesday when they marched around and waved to residents in their rooms to say hello and wish them a happy Thanksgiving. 

“[The residents have] been looking forward to it. I had a lot of calls this morning making sure it was still happening," Anne-Marie Brett, the life enrichment coordinator at The Park Danforth, said. 

Credit: NCM

Because of COVID-19, visitors have been limited at the facility and the holiday season can be a little lonely for residents, Brett added.

“It can be very lonely and even if they do have families and plans and things like that, it’s just that added bonus that makes it extra special," she said.

Even this small gesture can make a huge difference for Brett's residents.

Seventh graders Catherine McCullough and Simone Fultz said they were excited to march around and wave to older Mainers during the holiday season.

The students even wrote cards for the folks staying at The Park Danforth and they were handed out after the walk around the facility.

Credit: NCM

“They were so heartfelt," Couture said. "The messages the students wrote were just very touching so I think it’s going to bring a great deal of joy and love to these people that, as our students said, may not be getting visitors for the holidays or in general.”

St. Brigid classes will continue to participate in community events for the rest of the month.