Martin Co. West connects with senior care site

TEAMWORK — Darlene Roebbeke, center, helps Martin County West first-graders Kylah Atkinson, left, and Evelyn Beatty make a holiday craft project at Temperance Lake Ridge in Sherburn.

Temperance Lake Ridge in Sherburn has partnered with classes at Martin County West for intergenerational activities.

Alysia Bolstad, assistant director at Temperance Lake Ridge, said elementary classes from the school have came to Temperance Lake Ridge in the past for an activity, typically around the holidays, but now they come once per month.

For the first event in October, a carnival was held for students and residents. This month, they made a Christmas craft and played bingo.

Liz Garry, a first-grade teacher at Martin County West, said her classes have been coming to Temperance Lake Ridge for the last several years.

“This year, we’re trying to come more regularly and make it more consistent for the kids. It’s a really cool opportunity,” she said.

While different grades have visited Temperance Lake Ridge, this year the plan is to have the first-graders come. Garry said there are about 18 students in each of the three first-grade classes.

As she pointed out, the school is close to Temperance Lake Ridge, so it’s easy for students and teachers to just walk over and connect with residents.

“The residents are very excited when the kids come in. We usually get a very good turnout,” Bolstad said.

“The older residents are able to connect with the younger kids. The residents talk to them and it’s a chance for them to feel young again,” she said.

Bolstad also noted that some residents do not have family who are able to visit regularly, so the interaction with students gives residents a chance to connect with people and children in the community.

This is not the only program in which the two entities team up. Seventh- and eighth-grade students in MCW’s “Great Expectations” class come to Temperance Lake Ridge every Wednesday morning to participate in crafts, games and decorating. In addition, Temperance Lake Ridge residents go to the school regularly to read to kindergarten students.