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2011.11.29 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Service Learning Academy, Thompson Scholars Help Third Graders Tell Stories of Alzheimers Sufferers

Omaha - Third graders from Fontenelle Elementary School will be presenting the biographies of seniors with Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. as part of a semester-long project organized by the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Service Learning Academy.

Over the last three and a half months, UNO Thompson Scholars have worked with the students from Fontenelle to create biographies about the lives of residents from the House of Hope Alzheimer’s Care facility as part of the “Senior Words of Wisdom” project.

The Fontenelle students met three times with Asst. Professor Troy Romero’s Autobiographical Reading and Writing class to review and edit the pieces they constructed while interviewing the resents at House of Hope. Each third-grade student will be presenting their biographies to the resident they interviewed for the project at House of Hope, located at 4801 N. 52nd St. in Omaha. Romero’s students worked together to collect the finished biographies and framed them for each participant to have in memory of this project and their time together.

“Working with the third graders was such a refreshing twist to the normal classroom routine,” said Yesenia Madera, a Thompson Scholar student, “I learned so much about my own writing skills by helping the kids with their biographies. I would most definitely recommend an opportunity like this to any student.”

The Service Learning Academy facilitates partnership between the university and K-12 schools with the purpose of connecting curriculum to community needs through the development of academic service learning experiences.

For more information, please contact Lucy Garza Westbrook, UNO Service Learning Academy, at (402) 554.3055 or lgarza@unomaha.edu; Troy Romero, UNO Goodrich Scholarship Program and Thompson Learning Community, at (402) 554.3466 or tromero@unomaha.edu; Traci Glavic, Fontenelle Elementary School,at (402) 457.5905 or Traci.Glavic@ops.org.; Luanne Nelson, Omaha Public Schools, at (402) 557.2070 or Luanne.Nelson@ops.org; or Michelle Blesh, House of Hope, at (402) 557.6860 Ext 7564 or mblesh@shf.org.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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