Fostering Relationships

Residents at Barren County Health Care Center get a little dose of encouragement once a month in the form of a group of preschoolers.

The youngsters visit the nursing home as part of a service-learning grant project.

Although the residents benefit from the visit, the teachers hope the children will also gain from the experience.

The teachers say this experience teaches the children about the older generation and how to treat people that may have disabilities.

Jenniffer Fudge says, "Not only do adults have different disabilities, but also other children do."

The residents say the students provide a breath of fresh air as well as a burst of energy.

Each session a resident and a student are paired up, so they have time to talk and can form a bond.

Amy Loyall, the activities director, says, "It makes them so much happier if they are lonely. Some of them do not have grandchildren of their own, so this provides the feeling that these are their grandchildren."

The residents hope the students will continue to visit after this project ends.

The teachers are planning to have the students write a book about their experiences and have it published. They hope by doing this other kids will want to get involved as well.

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