St. Rose of Lima kids feed and entertain the elderly


February 03, 2002|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IMAGINE 21 eighth-graders in a kitchen, preparing a meal, all at the same time. That was the scene Tuesday when pupils from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School treated the parish's seniors to a luncheon.

Under the direction of eighth-grade teacher Ellen Mikula, the pupils chose the menu and prepared the meal.

Kathleen Oleszczuk, the middle school math and science teacher, said choosing the menu was a challenge.

"At first, they wanted to have chicken nuggets, but they reconsidered," she said. "They had to choose something ... appropriate for a luncheon and consider people's likes and dislikes."

At the luncheon, the school's Drama Club and third-graders provided the entertainment. The Drama Club performed Trouble in Oz. The play begins where The Wizard of Oz ends and Dorothy is home safely. The third-graders brought down the house with stand-up comedy routines.

Oleszczuk said that the afternoon is also a learning experience for the pupils.

"They learn communication skills. After the meal is prepared and served, they sit with the seniors. They get a greater appreciation for the elderly and learn to converse with someone from a different generation," she said.

The senior luncheon isn't the school's only community outreach program for senior citizens. Pupils also participate as "prayer partners" and write cards and letters to shut-ins.

"Sometimes they will get a response from one of their letters. That really makes them come alive - they know they are writing to a real person," Oleszczuk said.

Oleszczuk said pupils eagerly anticipate the preparing the meal for the seniors.

"The kids look forward to it. They even dress up. We wear uniforms, but on that day they get to wear their Sunday best," she said.

Next year, St. Rose seniors can look forward to another school-cooked meal.

Healthy hearts

Valentine's Day will soon be upon us. What better way to prepare for it than by ensuring that you have a healthy heart?

Harbor Hospital and Marley Station Mall are sponsoring a "Change for Heart's Sake" from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Marley Station. There will be games, prizes and health screenings to help everyone learn how to have a healthy heart.

Screenings for blood pressure, posture and body fat composition will be offered, along with risk profiles for osteoporosis and heart disease.

On Friday at the mall, children will be able to design valentine cards for their parents while their moms pick up health information specifically for women. Each child will receive cards and crayons.

To register, call 410-350-8255.

The hospital will offer an Infant Care and Safety Class from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 16 at the LifeResource Center across the street from Harbor Hospital at 2990 S. Hanover St. Information on home and care safety, newborn characteristics and Behavior will be provided. The cost is $15. Information: 410-350-8255.

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