Avery Point Resident’s “Adopt a Lighthouse” Initiative Enhances Learning at Nuckols Farm Elementary

Charlie Anderson, a Navy veteran, avid lighthouse enthusiast, and resident of Avery Point, an Erickson Senior Living-managed community in Short Pump, Va., has sparked a remarkable journey of learning and excitement at Nuckols Farm Elementary with his “Adopt a Lighthouse” initiative. 

What began as a simple suggestion to his granddaughter Leah’s 5th-grade teacher became a valuable educational experience. Charlie proposed that each student in the class borrow a lighthouse from his extensive figurine collection, conduct research, and deliver a report. However, the enthusiasm quickly spread beyond a single classroom, thanks to the dedication and vision of Leah’s teacher, Mrs. Bishop, and her colleagues, with over 80 students across multiple 5th-grade classes participating.

Charlie, embracing the opportunity to enhance the experience, provided personalized 2-inch pin-on buttons and certificates, officially designating each student as an “Official Keeper of the Light.” He also engaged the students by reading and discussing a book with each class about the life of remote keepers and their families, fostering a deeper understanding of these historical structures.

For three months, students delved into their research, creating presentations and displays, with the loaned lighthouses serving as focal points for their projects. The culmination of their efforts was celebrated on March 20 with a Lighthouse Fair, where parents and visitors filled the gymnasium to admire the students’ achievements.

The event’s highlight was the surprise announcement: the lighthouses were not on loan but gifts for the students to keep. The joy and excitement were palpable as Charlie, donning his Navy cap, administered the oath, officially swearing in each student as an “Official Keeper of the Light.”

Reflecting on the success of the program, Charlie remarked, “This is what my ‘adopt a lighthouse’ journey is all about – inspiring curiosity, fostering learning, and spreading joy.”

Residents at Avery Point are involved in many volunteer activities on and off campus. To learn more about independent senior living at Avery Point, visit AveryPointCommunity.com to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and more.