PQ Students Visit Residents at Salem Hills

Brady Armstrong and Maeve Cassidy give flowers to Jackie. Credits: Britt Togonon
PQ Kindergartners perform a mini concert for Salem Hills residents. Credits: Britt Togonon
Louis D’Alessandro and Kerri Nemith give a flower to Jack. Credits: Britt Togonon
Eli Tica is happy to visit with his grandmother. Credits: Britt Togonon
Sophia Becker chats with a senior friend. Credits: Britt Togonon
Donna holds her handmade flowers. Credits: Britt Togonon

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— With April showers on their shoulders, Pequenakonck Elementary School’s kindergarten classes visited their intergenerational friends at Salem Hills Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Purdys on April 17.  It was the sixth year in a row the students visited residents to share kindness, communication, literacy, music, and smiles. 

The trip is part of the school’s unique, ongoing ONE CUB Kindness Initiative, founded by paraprofessionals Lisa Finer and Britt Togonon in 2008.

The young learners entered the arts and crafts room at Salem Hills with a book in one hand ready to read to their senior partners, and a handmade tissue paper flower in the other to present as a gift.  The friends conversed and colored together as they enjoyed each other’s company.  The trip concluded with a sing-along that included old standard tunes and a patriotic song. 

Sign Up for E-News

This unique friendship has been ongoing throughout the year.  Kindergartners made “Thank you” stars in November for veteran residents at the facility.  In December, all four classes arrived with presents for every senior friend to celebrate Christmas and Hannukah.

ONE CUB has expanded beyond the kindergarten walls, as all grades at PQ participated to write personal cards and letters, make gifts and stationery, and collect water bottles to recycle.  All recycling money collected was used to purchase a gift for each of the 130 residents.  In addition, PQ families, faculty, and staff donated new items to be gifted.

In February, Chris Bockis, the Activities Director of Salem Hills, visited kindergarten classrooms along with her assistant, Victoria, dressed in costume to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  Salem Hills gifted the kindergarten with a Dr. Seuss book as well as a very special game designed by the seniors for their young friends.  The year culminated with this wonderful trip to Salem Hills in April - a truly heartwarming experience for all!

ONE CUB has been a true team effort. Great thanks go to paraprofessionals Denise Coursen, Claudia Badia and Carole Galligan, as well as the kindergarten teaching team, for their ongoing help and support.

The mission of ONE CUB is to empower North Salem students with the knowledge that they can make a difference in our world through kindness, citizenship, problem solving, communication, and celebrating the differences in us all.  ONE CUB contributes to forming the foundation of these building blocks and skills that the students will cultivate and refine over their years at PQ, the MS/HS, and well beyond.  A happy heart is an important thing to have – always.  It all starts with ONE CUB!

Article courtesy of Britt Togonon and Lisa Finer

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Salem

Do it badly!

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly, at least to start. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned to get started on a project even if I don’t have all the pieces together. Sometimes just puttering, tinkering or moving the parts around will help me sort out my brain enough to give me an idea of how to tackle a project.  

I can’t tell you how many times ...

Putnam County highlights

Putnam County: ”Where the country begins” pretty much sums up my view every day as I traverse this beautiful area. At every turn there is a reservoir, farm, trail or the stunning vista of the Hudson Highlands. Less development and fewer traffic lights showcase nature’s bounty uniquely during each season and I never tire of taking it all in. I often stop and take pictures on my ...

More than just a book store

What consistently rates 4.9 to 5.0 on the major customer review sites? What business is both destination and resource, a tradition, a haven, valued, endangered and has something for everyone, at every age? 
Hands down, it is your local independent bookstore. They have faced challenges (think “When Harry Met Sally”) and still do (um, Amazon), but those that remain have carved out ...