‘Unexpected gift’

Life skills students visit nursing home for first time, bearing presents

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Rita Bevevino (left) and Violet Wolfe talk at the Rouse Home after Wolfe presented Bevevino with a blanket made by students in her life skills class.

It was a warm, fuzzy event all around.

On Friday, a group of students from Warren Area High School paid a visit to the Rouse Home.

The students presented the 15 fleece blankets they made as gifts to residents.

They also spent time chatting and shared a snack.

The 37 students worked in groups in their life skills classes to make the blankets.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Millie Pesko (left) and Trudy Devore display the blankets made for them by students in the Warren Area High School life skills classes and given to them by Jeremy Walsh and Aaron Evans.

“We are here today to give the kids a sense of community,” Life Skills Teacher Susan Wilson said. “They’re giving back to the community.”

She said the students had never been to a nursing home before.

The visit was part of a philosophy of Community Based Instruction. The idea behind CBI is “to get the kids out in the community… to give them full exposure to the community and show them what is available,” Wilson said. “They don’t get out as often as we would like them to.”

Warren Area High School Junior Violet Wolfe presented one of the blankets to Rita Bevevino.

“It’s wonderful to receive an unexpected gift,” Bevevino said. “And it’s fun to interact with kids on a one-on-one basis.”

“I think it’s wonderful,” Trudy Devore said after receiving a blanket from Aaron Evans. Having children around also made her feel at home. “I had nine of them,” she said.

“It’s awfully nice of them to make these blankets for us,” Millie Pesko said after receiving her blanket from Jeremy Walsh. “I never expected anything like that. They’re very pretty. They’ll keep us warm this winter.”

Pesko wanted to share that holiday spirit.

“I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” she said.