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2011.12.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Lewis & Clark, UNO Join Together to Bring Music to Omaha Seniors

Omaha - Students from Lewis & Clark Middle School are holding a special concert this Thursday, Dec. 15, for residents of the Immanuel Fontenelle nursing home. The students will be playing donated harmonicas as part of a University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Service Learning Academy (SLA) project.

As part of the SLA’s P-16, or pre-school through college, Initiative, harmonicas and harmonica instruction lessons were donated through the Leslie Earl Kessinger Memorial Service Learning Fund. Kessinger’s family donated the harmonicas and lessons to honor his memory and love of playing the harmonica.

Throughout the semester, Lewis & Clark’s Music Exploration and Chorus students have shared their vocal and harmonica skills with several local area senior centers. This Thursday's event at Immanuel Fontenelle, 6809 N. 68th Plaza, will run from 1:30 - 2 p.m.

The UNO SLA also brought in UNO gerontology students to engage in intergenerational dialogues with the seniors and middle school students. Through these dialogues, both UNO and Lewis & Clark students learned about the lives of Omaha-area seniors and the challenges of aging.

Both student groups’ reactions to these dialogues were also the focus of several discussions this semester.

This is the second year UNO gerontology students have partnered with Lewis & Clark in service learning projects. The UNO SLA P-16 Initative facilitates partnerships 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, (402) 554.3055 or lgarza@unomaha.edu; Lyn Holley, UNO Department of Gerontology (402) 554.4814 or lmholley@unomaha.edu; Adora Greene, Lewis & Clark Middle School adora.greene@ops.org; or Luanne Nelson, Omaha Public Schools, (402) 557.2070 or Luanne.Nelson@ops.org.

Leslie Kessinger Harmonica Lewis and Clark Students
Photos Courtesy of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Foundation

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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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