LEWISTON – Thirteen fifth- and sixth-grade boys from Montello Elementary School have made some new friends over the past several weeks – senior residents of Montello Manor.

The weekly visits, part of the Montello Kids Care Program, began Jan. 31. The boys interact with residents of the nursing home for games, activities and companionship. Activities have included arts and crafts, bingo, songs and dances, as well as short skits performed by the boys. A Mardi Gras parade was the highlight of the Feb. 28 visit.

Communication between the two generations has gone well, according to Mary Lou Dow, activities director at Montello Manor. In a short time, the friendships that have developed between the youth and senior citizens have been remarkable for all, she said.

June Foster, a Montello School counselor, said the boys’ confidence grows each week, as does their appreciation for an older generation. Most of the boys in the program are participating in community service for the first time. It is hoped that through this positive experience, some of the boys will become volunteers as adults.

Dow said she is pleased with the program. She said the boys have been a bright light in many of the residents’ lives, and she hopes the program continues next year.

The students are accompanied to Montello Manor by school counselors Foster and Linda Gajowski, along with Peter Geiger, Ed Greenwood and Andy Smith from Geiger Bros., Montello’s educational partner.

The Lewiston Education Fund funded the project. The nonprofit program supports programs that expand educational opportunities, foster creativity and enhance academic excellence in Lewiston’s public schools. For more information, visit the Web at www.lewistoneducationfund.org.


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