Union students make precious memories

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Union Elementary students did an assignment where they explained what was most precious to them in their lives. Four students then went over the answers with residents of the The Inn at Poland Way. Pictured, Colin Sacui read different answers to the residents.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Union Elementary students visited The Inn at Poland Way as a part of their Start With Hello Week, a program started by Sandy Hook Promise. The program aims to connect members of the community and schools together. Pictured, Alexis Flood talked with a resident about what they hold most precious.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Four students from Poland Union Elementary travelled to The Inn at Poland Way on Feb. 9 to read and talk to the residents. Principal Michael Masucci and school counselor Lauren Mechling joined the students.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Union Elementary students read “Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” by Mem Fox, which follows about a young child who befriends residents at an assisted living facility. The Union Elementary students followed this example and visited The Inn at Poland Way. Pictured, Ava Flood and a resident talk about a students' answer to an assignment.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Kathy Boosinger, Activities Director at The Inn at Poland Way, said she enjoyed having the elementary students coming to visit. She said it helped some residents become more social. Pictured, student Eric Moorman bonded with the residents.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Four Poland Union Elementary students visited The Inn at Poland Way on Feb. 9 to read and talk to the residents.

Eric Moorman, Alexis Flood, Ava Flood and Colin Sacui went to the facility with principal Michael Massuci and school counselor Lauren Mechling. They brought papers from students throughout the school to read to residents in the lobby of the assisted living facility.

The students in the school read “Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” by Mem Fox. The story follows a boy who helps at an elderly home and they talk about memories. One resident in the book says that a memory is “something as precious as gold.”

The Union students wrote and drew what is as precious as gold to them in their lives for an assignment. The school collected the papers and brought them to The Inn at Poland Way.

The event concluded Start With Hello Week for the school. Sandy Hook Promise, an organization formed by those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, created Start With Hello Week to combat social isolation and to make connections within the community.

Mechling said the event aligned well with the story and the Start With Hello program. The book shows a young child making memories and connecting with residents. Similarly, the students bonded with the residents as they talked about life together. The connection to the community fit the Start With Hello program as well.

Activities director of The Inn at Poland Way Kathy Boosinger enjoyed the visit from the school. She said the students brightened the days of the residents and got some less sociable residents to spend some time out of their room.

Union Elementary also had a theme week for Start With Hello Week. On Monday, the students wore Poland gear to show their commitment to connecting the community. They dressed in superhero attire on Tuesday to demonstrate their uniqueness. They mixed and matched their clothes on Wednesday to celebrate everyone’s differences. On Thursday, they wore green to support Sandy Hook Promise. They finished the week in yellow or gold clothes, because their connections are as precious as gold.

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