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Summit School kindergartners bring flowers, carols to senior center

Sat., Dec. 14, 2013

The residents of Orchard Crest Retirement Community received some special guests Thursday morning.

Kindergarten students from Summit School brought amaryllis and poinsettia plants to display at the front desk. The amaryllises were grown by the kindergartners and their teacher, Sarah Ellis.

Ellis said state standards for kindergarten include life science. They study plants in the fall and animals in the spring. They planted 20 bulbs at the beginning of the year.

At Summit School, students participate in what is called expeditionary learning. They take one theme and study it through the term. They can incorporate other subjects into the project. In the kindergarten class, they observe the plants and record data. During the process, they have to report their findings.

“Scientists have to report experimental results honestly,” Ellis said, even if they don’t always like those results.

In this case, the amaryllis bulbs bloomed early, leaving very few to bring to the retirement centers. To make up for the shortfall, they brought poinsettias and handmade ornaments.

“Flexibility is the key to our school,” Ellis said.

The students sang for the residents, as well. They started off with songs about plants, complete with hand motions. After that, they broke out the Christmas songs – including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Tami Cheyney, activities coordinator for Orchard Crest, said that through the month of December they probably receive about 15 to 20 groups who visit the residents.

When children come in, it makes it more special for the residents.

“It’s a lot more than just entertainment,” Cheyney said.

Virginia Piper, a resident, said she loves having visitors.

“They’re just darling,” she said of the children. “The residents love having the children come.”

Kindergartner Sienna Walker enjoyed singing for the residents.

“I’m a pop star,” she said.

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