The students of Starkville High School’s Jobs for Mississippi Graduates Class visited Carrington Nursing Home on October 28, 2016 and it was a memorable one! Carrington is just one of three public nursing home providers in Starkville. Ms. Janice Hogan is the Activities Coordinator of Carrington Nursing Home. Ms. Hogan and her staff scheduled this visit as a “sing-along” activity and remarked that she would like my students to join them! We were ecstatic!
When presented with this idea, there were several students who wanted to “showcase” their talents in a loving way of course! Tommie wanted to use his musical talent to play his keyboard! Amber, a member of the school’s choir, wanted to present a solo part! We committed time during the days to come to selecting “joyful and spirited” songs. Once the songs were agreed upon and the purpose of the fieldtrip was clearly identified, we commenced with deliberate rehearsals with the musician (Tommie) and lead singer (Amber). Such rehearsals were done intermittently during the class period up to the day of the event to satisfy both artists!
In additional item of love to “showcase” this event that the students wanted to do was to give something tangible to the patients at Carrington. When Ms. Hogan was presented with this suggestion, she immediately gave favored items that the patients liked as well as permissible items that were acceptable by the management of Carrington Nursing Home! Students began to bring such items as boxes of Kleenex, socks, and peppermint. The day prior to the trip raisins and bananas were brought. With the generosity of the class we were able to make two gift baskets for the patients!
The day of the visit was one that my students and I will cherish! We were greeted with smiles and hands extended to caress and give gentle handshakes as we entered the room! Instantly, Ms. Hogan asked that my students take over! She commented that the patients were exhausted with typical songs that she and her staff “routinely” sang to them! The Director went on to add that children bring a uniqueness and joy to the patients that no other guest can do many times. My students and I sang three songs instead of two! The patients made song requests that we honored as long as they (patients) sang with us and lead the songs! It was beautiful! Jingle Bells brought down the house! The patients smiled and clapped their hands as they sang this song! Montana, President of our Career Association presented our gift baskets as well as a framed poem as the finale of our service.
Our visit to Carrington Nursing Home was one that my students and I will remember fondly and hold close to our hearts! We hope that we made a difference in the hearts of the patients! The smiles, chuckles of laughter, and gentle handshakes suggested that we did!