Mae Stevens students create intergenerational art work with nursing home residents

Special to Leader-Press

Funded for a second year in a row by a Copperas Cove Education Foundation grant, Kids at Heart is the area’s first intergenerational preschool program in which students from Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy visit regularly with residents of a local nursing home. 
For many preschoolers, “The Kissing Hand” is a book read to them to increase the love of reading. However, Mae Stevens Paraprofessional Brandy Petty and school librarian Stacy Tomblin-Weaver used the month of February as an opportunity to express love during their monthly visit to Stoney Brook Assisted Living.  
Adorning the halls of the memory care wings of the facility are simple wooden boxes beside each of the room doors. They are filled with photos and trinkets used to prompt memories for some of the residents.  
“Knowing that we’d leave and the residents may soon forget the experience with the kids, it was really important to capture some of the moments through photographs and represent them in our art gallery at school,” Petty said. “Much like the kiss on Chester Racoon’s hand in the story, the experience for many of our students and teachers leaves a lasting impact once we walk out the front doors.” 
Students sat on the floor and listened to the book reading as residents delighted in the story beside them. After the reading, residents, students, and volunteers alike helped one another to trace their hands, talking each other through the process and ultimately placing a heart right in the middle of the masterpiece.  
The display of the intergenerational artwork was available for viewing at the school’s 5th Annual Art Night and Music Performance on Thursday. For the event, each class of students chose a different artist’s work with students using their fine motor skills to create their own beautiful works of art inspired by those artists. The young scholars’ work was on display throughout the school for parents and guests to enjoy.
 

Special to Leader-Press

Funded for a second year in a row by a Copperas Cove Education Foundation grant, Kids at Heart is the area’s first intergenerational preschool program in which students from Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy visit regularly with residents of a local nursing home. 
For many preschoolers, “The Kissing Hand” is a book read to them to increase the love of reading. However, Mae Stevens Paraprofessional Brandy Petty and school librarian Stacy Tomblin-Weaver used the month of February as an opportunity to express love during their monthly visit to Stoney Brook Assisted Living.  
Adorning the halls of the memory care wings of the facility are simple wooden boxes beside each of the room doors. They are filled with photos and trinkets used to prompt memories for some of the residents.  
“Knowing that we’d leave and the residents may soon forget the experience with the kids, it was really important to capture some of the moments through photographs and represent them in our art gallery at school,” Petty said. “Much like the kiss on Chester Racoon’s hand in the story, the experience for many of our students and teachers leaves a lasting impact once we walk out the front doors.” 
Students sat on the floor and listened to the book reading as residents delighted in the story beside them. After the reading, residents, students, and volunteers alike helped one another to trace their hands, talking each other through the process and ultimately placing a heart right in the middle of the masterpiece.  
The display of the intergenerational artwork was available for viewing at the school’s 5th Annual Art Night and Music Performance on Thursday. For the event, each class of students chose a different artist’s work with students using their fine motor skills to create their own beautiful works of art inspired by those artists. The young scholars’ work was on display throughout the school for parents and guests to enjoy.
 

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