The grade 10 creative writing class at Bow Valley High School (BVHS) took on a very special project this month. The class joined residents at the Hawthorne Senior Living Community to learn about their life stories and transform them into a piece of creative writing. 

“Last week, the kids came up with a bunch of interview questions themselves,” says BVHS teacher Sheldon Betts. “Everything from life advice for somebody my age. What was it like growing up? What are some changes? Tell me about your favourite memory. It's a little bit of everything.”

“We went back and in our creative writing class over the last week. We worked on everything from turning that into songs or poems or short stories or articles or comic books, and now we're here to present them today to those very same folks.”

The students were excited to rejoin the same residents they interviewed to showcase their hard work.

Grade 10 student Lexie Wright partnered up with Retta to tell her story. 


“I wrote about a day in the life of Retta. and I specifically changed it and took some of her life events and put them into a single day. So the day she met her husband, the night that her barn was complete and they got to sleep in there and see the sky.

“Those are magical moments so I put all that all into a story. She was really excited. She was super happy and she was laughing and chuckling.”

Retta also received a rap about her life created by two students, Tegan Lester-Olivier and Isabelle Williams.

“Her name is Retta. There is no one betta.

When I'm with her, I do not fretta.

She's so bright, she reminds me of chedda."

"Childhood memories she doesn't forgeta.

Her favourite colours are pink and reda.

She likes spring more than fall because it's wetta.

Got married at 19, even though her parents barely let-ah."

Cameron Old learned so much from her resident partner, she could not contain it to just one piece. 

“My partner and I both wrote two to four poems.” says Cameron “I thought that a poem would be a great way to share their story. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed seeing these residents here and I enjoyed walking here with my group.”

The students plan to transfer their handwritten work into a digital form to share hard copies with all the residents.