Kin-nect, is a community-based non-profit devoted to remembering senior citizens in care facilities and nursing homes.

This year, Kin-nect “adopted” the South River Health & Rehabilitation Center in Edgewater. In February, they brought the center together with a group of students from Edgewater Elementary School’s English Language Learning class to make Valentine’s Day cards.

The students and residents had so much fun that they asked to do it again. So they gathered on March 30 to decorate Easter eggs and make simple Easter baskets. Only this time the number of students eager to participate more than doubled.

“It’s exciting that we’ve been welcomed back,” Edgewater Principal Kellie Schell-Ramey said. “The children really enjoyed the first event. They talked about it for days.”

Mary Kay Robertson, founder of Kin-nect, said students were excited by the first visit and wanted to do something for Easter.

Teacher Cheryl Menke came up with idea of dying eggs. Tersheia Wiseman, director of activities at the center, added the idea of making Easter baskets from paper plates.

“We think having the kids from the ELL class helps them learn about giving back and also to learn about the different holidays we celebrate in America,” Robertson said. “Many of the students do not have grandparents who live in the U.S., so they very much enjoy spending time with the residents.”

The level of laughter during the Easter egg event was greatly increased from Valentine’s Day, and not just because there were more children. Kids at the first event became leaders for the other students.

Interaction between the residents, staff, volunteers and the kids was more relaxed. And there was an increase in the number of creative ideas for the decorations.

Jim Miller, president of the Board of Directors at Kin-nect, presented a check to Wiseman for the supplies for Valentine’s Day and Easter and to help other activities.

Kin-nect and the school are already planning a new event in May. They will be making paper flowers and planting seeds for the center’s landscape.

For more information on Kin-nect, Inc., visit them on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/Kinnectinc/info.

– See more at: The Capital Gazette – Around South County