An elementary school got a great opportunity to have children explore the history of technology with seniors. Fifth graders were amazed to learn how much technology has changed over the years.
The seniors and student have already met up twice during the past school year. 88 year old Pauline Mitsock brought her black rotary phone that she had stored in her basement before bringing it to the school’s annual “Connecting with the Past” program.
“The expressions on the kids’ faces are priceless,” Mitsock said, sharing with the students the idea of “party lines,” or how if one would pick up the phone, an operator would be on the other end.
“If you wanted a private line, it was more expensive than the shared party lines.”
Fifth-graders Alyse Lerner and Sriya Kanthaswamy said it was hard to imagine the use of a rotary phone and the idea of party lines in this day and age. Alyse noted that the rotary phone was rather heavy.
Alyse and Sriya were teamed up with senior Bernadine Lajewski. Sriya said she found it interesting that when Lajewski attended school, she was one of 72 children in a classroom.
“No one ever got individual attention,” she said.
The program was created by media specialist Marie Desmond a few years ago and organized this year by Desmond, along with language arts teacher Karen Rubio, science/math/social studies teacher Melissa Perez and in-study support teacher Melissa Brown.
“We work as a team, and the 50-or-so fifth-grade students are paired up with the 20-or-so seniors who have a lot of knowledge about Sayreville, some living here all their lives,” Desmond said.