A group of Ventura County third graders have a new outlook on what it means to be an older adult. The newfound respect comes after one of their peers, eight-year-old Miles Kudlacek, shared a class project for the 100th day of school.

Miles’ presentation to his classmates at Westlake Elementary School highlighted the meaning behind the word centenarian. The students learned that only an estimated .03% of Americans achieve this age or higher. His interest in the subject came from an interview his 97-year-old great-grandfather Chuck Ullman did with The Wall Street Journal.

“My great-grandfather was in the newspaper for being close to 100 years old,” Miles told KCLU reporter Lance Orozco during an interview. “I had an idea to make cards for the people here, and I asked my teacher, and she said it would be perfect for the 100th day of school.”

Miles tasked his peers with writing letters to the seniors at University Village Thousand Oaks, the senior living community where his great-grandfather lives. The community was happy to team up on this intergenerational project. They know the health benefits of these opportunities, which include an increased sense of purpose and lifelong learning for seniors and grade schoolers.

The students went to work drawing pictures and writing their “thanks” to the seniors. Miles then compiled the cards, dropped them off at the community, and met with the residents.

Seniors at University Village show off the homemade cards grade schoolers made for them

Miles’ mother, Jessica Kudlacek, helped with the project and told KCLU that there’s a lot of information that all of us, including the younger generation, can learn from the seniors. “Miles and I created a lesson for the class, a presentation activity,” she said. “There is a disconnect, and creating opportunities to bridge that is important, and that is what we tried to do in this project.”

The Thousand Oaks Acorn was there to capture the moments as Miles handed out the cards. Jean Kornbluth is one of the University Village residents who received a letter. In the process, she advised Miles: “To live a good life, you have to treat people like you would like to be treated,” she said. “I think that’s very important.”

Listen to the KCLU interview below:


Lifelong Learning at University Village Thousand Oaks

At University Village, we understand the importance of fostering meaningful connections between generations and offer a plethora of lifelong learning opportunities. This is why so many inventors, professors, and other professionals have chosen to call our community home.

We offer a maintenance-free lifestyle, taking care of daily chores for you so you have the freedom to spend time where it matters the most—doing what makes you happy with your friends and family.

Call us today at 805-241-3300 or contact us online to learn more about our community.