ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- It's called the Old School Bus, but this vehicle is sleek and shiny — painted inside, renovated outside, and filled with books, instruments and crafts.

It travels throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, stopping at seniors' homes and inviting families with young children to make an important connection: bridge the gap between generations.

"We've kind of failed both by keeping them so isolated," said Claire Rouleau, one-half of Old School Intergenerational Projects.

"There really needs to be more of an exchange … that's what we aim to do, is to bring folks together and enrich their lives by doing so."

Rouleau and her former classmate Erin Winsor make up the driving force of Old School Intergenerational Projects, a small charity that creates programs for young people and seniors to connect.

They work primarily through the arts including music and crafts — and even specialized performances with families living with dementia.

N.L.'s old school bus

Rouleau spells a long list of benefits from this type of work: supporting dementia care, fighting ageism, promoting inclusion and participation by all.

"Older folks, you know, their physical and mental well-being can be vastly improved by participation in music-making with little people, who might encourage them to express without boundaries or without fear of judgement," Rouleau said.

Her background in child care, and Winsor's background working with seniors, had the pair dreaming of a collaboration.

They've worked together five years now, and after years of fundraising and renovations their Old School Bus project had a grand unveiling just this month.

N.L.'s old school bus

As it turns out, the bus itself is a great way for generations to connect.

"We get to hear a lot of people's stories about school buses, their own experiences and stuff, which is fun," Winsor said.

"Folks will come on board and say, 'I haven't been on a school bus in 60 years' or 'I drove a school bus when I was younger,'" Rouleau added. "And, 'my God, I've never seen anything like this.'"

The all-white vehicle turns heads on the highways and in parking lots, especially when painted head-to-toe by program participants. That's one of the most popular activities.

N.L.'s old school bus

"We've had this thing painted from the underneath up to the top, as far as they could possibly reach, because it's very fun and novel," Rouleau said.

"We've had some folks say, 'You know, it feels so bad but feels so good.'"

The duo would eventually like to replicate their success so far — and build a few more of these school buses — to expand their reach across the province.

First, they're focused on getting enough donations and funding to sustain themselves.

"Ideally we would like to have like, five of these buses around the province. You know, one in Labrador, one in the West Coast, but you know, one step at a time."