Students have special delivery for residents of independent living center

2013-12-19T18:10:00Z 2013-12-20T22:00:11Z Students have special delivery for residents of independent living centerBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Handmade ornaments and cookies were plentiful as the residents of the South Forty independent living center were greeted by the students who had prepared them on Thursday.

The ornaments were made by students of Theresa Hoppe’s Frameworks class at the Lincoln Center.

“It’s great for the community, and it’s great for the young people to interact with the seniors,” said Stacey Reiter, one of the managers at South Forty, 769 Fallow Lane.

The common-room was filled with more than 20 seniors, seven students, laughter and smiles as the students unpacked boxes filled with ornaments and cookies.

“Let’s start delivering, dude,” 15-year-old Austin Klein said to his fellow student Emilio Nava, 16.

The students took plain glass ornaments and melted crayons inside with a hairdryer, dying them a rainbow of different colors.

“Each one takes about five to 10 minutes,” Nava said.

The students began working on the ornaments several weeks ago and they were glad to share the fruits of their labor.

“It’s just nice to see the people appreciate it,” Klein said.

Frameworks is a School District 2 program that helps struggling students get back on track and prepares them to return to their home schools.

“I think it’s an opportunity for them to give back because they often are the takers,” Hoppe said.

By intervening in the lives of these students, the program aims to get students to understand that their choices can do good things in their community, she said.

“It’s such a positive thing that the kids get to experience,” she said.

Resident, Charlotte Meisner admired her ornament and thought the idea to melt crayons in an ornament was neat.

“It’s really cute,” she said.

She also was glad the students had stopped by South 40 to bring holiday cheer.

“It’s really nice and thoughtful to think of us old people,” she said.

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