By AMANDA LUANG
As they walk through the doors of the Oyster Bay Manor Assisted Living Facility, students admire the holiday decor on the walls and the colorful fish swimming in the large tank. Heads turn as the students enter, but it is with warmth and enthusiasm as these newcomers greet the residents and prepare for the day’s activity. Project Care, a club here at Jericho High School, has just made one of its weekly visits to Oyster Bay’s local assisted living facility.
Students from grades 9-12 visit and enjoy spending time with the elderly residents of Oyster Bay Manor. Preparing fun and interactive activities, Project Care members visit every week, a time that is looked forward to by both students and residents.
To stimulate the seniors’ creativity, the students read poems to the residents, and encourage them to compose some of their own. Club members often gather all of the residents and choose a theme to write about such as fall or favorite foods. Residents then call out ideas or lines, resulting in one sprawling, collaborative poem. An entertaining event, this activity provides residents with the opportunity to hear their ideas come to life through the students’ pieces. Though engaging for the residents, it is also interesting for the students to hear what each resident is thinking about and transcribe their ideas onto paper for them.
The students alternate between Oyster Bay Manor and Harbor House, another senior citizens’ home neighboring the Manor. As well as keeping the elderly company, students play memory games, craft projects, and simply converse with the residents who often share fascinating stories. By listening to their insights, students are able to learn and grow personally. Furthermore, students are able to showcase their talents to the residents who appreciate them more than anyone.
Interested in joining? Project Care meets on Tuesdays after school in Room 225. See Ms. Gropineanu for more details, and stay tuned for more Project Care events!