Program brings kids, seniors together

Program brings kids, seniors together

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by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7

KTVB.COM

Posted on January 5, 2014 at 11:37 PM

BOISE -- There's something special happening at Heatherwood Retirement Community. Two very different generations are coming together, and it's a partnership that will warm your heart.

Rose Hill Montessori third grader Avy Wilford has been visiting her friend, Ellen Moore, at Heatherwood for a couple years.

"She has been so fun for me to have here because I don't have any grand kids of my own or young ones here to spoil," said Ellen. "She is so smart and so sweet and I love coming down to see her."

"I know that her favorite color is red, and when she was younger her favorite color was pink," said Avy.

Trish Ortmann, a teacher at Rose Hill Montessori, started this buddy program 18 years ago.

"I want to connect children of this age with another generation," said Trish. "Sometimes we play bingo, go fish, a lot of crafts we do. The kids love it. To them it's a privilege. These guys are their heroes."

Josephine and Helen are paired up too.

"We are their adopted grandparents and they are our buddies," said Helen. "We like to see them and it gives us something to look forward to."

"We have a fair amount of residents that don't have family or grand kids locally, and there is a great chance for them to adopt a kid if you will," said Heatherwood Executive Director Rod Hansen.

Richard Clemends loves his visits from Seiya.

"Everyone likes the kids and they are our little buddies," said Richard. "He always looks for me, and I always look for him."

The partnership has been such a success, there's no sign of it stopping.

"It's a great program it's a win win for both parties," said Trish. "I'll continue to bring them as long as we're welcome here."

These buddies are proving that two very different generations can learn important life lessons from each other.

"Younger kids and old folks just bring out the best in each other," said Trish.

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