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Holiday event brings together senior citizens, BOCES students
Dec. 28, 2015



 



HERKIMER – When senior citizens living in the Mohawk Homestead recently visited Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students in special programs teacher Roseann Norod’s class, it benefitted everybody involved.

For the Mohawk Homestead residents, it was a chance to get out and spend time around children. For Norod’s students, it was an opportunity to meet members of the community and put to use positive character traits they’ve been learning in class such as kindness, caring and responsibility.

“I always think it’s a wonderful opportunity bringing people together,” Norod said. “It’s one thing to learn it in the classroom, but it’s another to actually do it in the community.”

The visit, which took place in Norod’s classroom on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the Remington Educational Complex in Ilion, included Mohawk Homestead residents and BOCES students telling each other about their lives, eating lunch and dessert together and cooperating to make holiday centerpieces that featured greenery, an electronic candle, berry decorations, cinnamon sticks and other items.

Student Nicole Zeidner said everyone seemed to be having fun during the visit from the residents.
“It’s going good,” she said. “They’re excited to be here.”

Some of her favorite parts of the visit included making the centerpieces and “that we can talk to them and they can visit and have lunch with us,” she said.

Mohawk Homestead resident Polly Ambrose said she was happy to be part of the event.

“I think this is real nice you invited us to come here,” she said. “This is something different for me.”

Ambrose smiled as she said the students are sociable – including some students she met during last year’s visit.

“They can remember me from last year,” she said. “I think that’s real nice.”

Resident Ellie Francis said she loves being around kids.

“I’m enjoying it,” she said.

Resident Peggy White also was having a good time.

“I thought it was nice,” she said. “Just to get out and meet the kids.”

Student Destiny LaBarge said some of her favorite aspects of the visit were having lunch, doing the crafts and “meeting new people.”

“It’s better than working, that’s for sure,” she said.

Several people helped out with the event. Mohawk Homestead staff and volunteers attended, Norod’s husband, Nicholas Norod, played guitar and led the group in Christmas songs, BOCES speech language pathologist Ann Margaret Bouska took time to help out during the visit and students made the pumpkin pies while working with BOCES teacher Erica Haver.

Whenever students reflect on the visit, they describe it as a positive, exciting experience, Norod said.

In addition to providing fun, the event gives students an opportunity to practice their communication and collaboration skills, such as asking the residents if there is anything they can help them with, Norod said.

“It teaches them a lot about interacting,” she said.

Mohawk Homestead Director of Activities Elaine Mabry said it’s wonderful anytime the residents can be around children.

“They love kids,” she said. “I think it takes them out of their element, and it makes them happy – simple as that.”



Lawrence Brinker
Mohawk Homestead residents visited Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES special programs teacher Roseann Norod’s class on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and made holiday centerpieces together, along with other activities. The residents and students are pictured here, from left to right, with their finished centerpieces: student Nicole Zeidner, resident Ellie Francis, student Christian Arabia-Everson, student Chance Arabia-Everson, resident Peggy White, student Wayne Brown, student Desiray Thayer, student Hayley Flike, student Destiny LaBarge, student Caterina Vosburgh and resident Polly Ambrose.



 
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