Tuesday, June 13, 2017

“Where I’m From" - Students and residents create poetry

From simple conversations, poems were born.
David Rockower’s poetry class from Delta Middle School returned to share the poems they had written for Village residents after interviewing the residents (see original blog here). This was a wonderful intergenerational activity that was special to everyone. Below is a collection of poems written by residents and students.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lessons Through a Lens: Part 2

Today was a special day at The Atrium as we turned our home into an art gallery.
Sophomore, juniors, and seniors from State College Area High School showcased their extraordinary talent by displaying photos they took of residents. The students and residents first met to talk about the resident's life. Then the students came back to take portraits of each resident.

This morning, each resident was shown their portrait with family and friends present. The final photos amazed each resident.

This exciting intergenerational collaboration would not have been possible without the dedication of our residents, the students, Dana Gregg, Atrium Community Life Coordinator, and Danielle Crowe, art teacher at State College Area High School.

You can see more photos from the beginning stages of the project here.

Photos are property of Liberty Lutheran, The Village at Penn State, and the individual photographers. Please do not reprint or save without permission. Thank you for your consideration. For approval please contact Liberty Lutheran via this email address.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lessons Through a Lens & Poetry in Motion

Innovative and creative intergenerational collaborations with young students abound at the Village.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors from State College Area High School visited the Atrium twice in April to create resident life stories. The first step-which took place on April 20th- was getting the residents and students face-to-face for conversations. Two students met with a resident to discuss the resident's life and history.On April 27, the students returned to the Village for a photo shoot with the residents. Lighting, make-up and photography was handled by the students with the residents being the models. A special reception for residents, the students and everyone's family members will be held on May 10. The final images will be put on display and the residents will be presented with framed photographs.

Also happening at the Village, David Rockower’s poetry class from Delta Middle School visited with some members of the VPS poetry group to ask them about their life experiences. They are working on a poetry project call “Where I’m From.” The students will return to present the poems to the residents that they wrote about their lives.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ron Coder: Serving the Next Generation

Ron Coder, Jeffrey Rose Morales,
and Brian Smilowitz
Ron Coder is proud of his service in the Air Force. He served his country for 23 years and four days and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. During World War II, he piloted KC-97s and KC-135s to perform mid-flight refueling for B-52s and B-47s. “My wife, Hope, was right by my side as we traveled the country during my years of service,” said Ron.

Ron administers the Oath of Enlistment
On February 28, Ron was asked to once again serve his country. Brian Smilowitz, longtime family friend- and son of Village resident Anne Smilowitz, is an Air Force Reserve Recruiter whose area includes Bellefonte and State College. Brian asked Ron if he would administer the oath of enlistment to a local enlistee, Jeffrey Morales Rosa. 

“It’s very important to me and every officer who is proud of his service to provide the oath of enlistment to a young man who wants to join the same service,” said Ron. “It was an honor for me to do that. “

Jeffrey and Ron shake hands
The Oath of Enlistment:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Atrium: A Life Changing Experience for Interns

As Paige Hiban entered her final semester at Penn State University, she knew things would be a little different. Instead of a full class load, the senior majoring in Human Development and Family studies would be interning at the Atrium at The Village at Penn State. From 9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday, Paige would have a taste of what working in a senior living community would be like. She didn’t realize at the time what a profound impact residents of the Atrium would have on her. “It was an amazing experience, said Paige. “It was my favorite experience at Penn State. Even as a senior, there was never a day that dragged. We were never sitting twiddling our thumbs.”

In the spring of 2015, Paige was one of six interns who worked with Community Life Coordinator Dana Gregg and the staff caring for residents in the Atrium, The Village’s skilled nursing Health Care Center.  Like most college students, many of the interns were still deciding on the direction they would take their careers. Paige gives the staff at the Atrium credit for helping her realize her true ambitions in life. “It was just a really good environment for us, as interns, to be at because we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do. And the staff was open to having us be really involved in the care of all the residents.”  Seeing the nurses’ compassion towards the residents helped shape her future. “It changed a lot of our perspectives of elder care.”

Bonding with the residents, was immediate. During the interview process to secure her internship, Paige sat in on a resident activity; it was then she first met Ruth Murry. “I went over to talk to her and instantly we had a connection. She reminded me of my own grandmother. I knew right then that The Village was where I needed to have my internship.” Paige has stayed friends with Ruth and her husband, Bob, who also lives at The Village, through the years.

A favorite memory of her time at The Village is when she and the other interns organized a cruise for residents…one that never left the Atrium. Each day, they decorated the Atrium to be a different destination.  “It made the residents feel special,” said Paige.  “We could tell that staff members really cared about individualizing everything for the residents.”

After graduating PSU in May 2015, Paige traveled to Thailand to teach for six months. When she returned, she reflected on her experiences and decided that geriatric nursing would be her goal. In February 2018, Paige will graduate from Holy Family University in Newtown, PA with a degree in nursing. She credits her time at The Village for helping her find her path.  When in Happy Valley, Paige still drops by to say hello to the staff and residents. “I still feel part of the Atrium family.”