Students and residents join together to plant flowers to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s

Post date: Oct 09, 2019 9:36:35 AM

September 21st is observed as World Alzheimer’s Day. In the spirit of this day, fourteen Wells Junior High School students and eight community members of Avita of Wells met on September 20th at Avita to dig and plant flowers. Purchased with funds raised from a school ‘rock-a-thon’ last June, these purple-colored perennials and annuals were planted along a walkway that links Avita with WJHS.

Since Avita supports its community of residents who suffer from physical impairments including dementia, these plants were selected because purple is the color that represents Alzheimer’s disease, the leading cause of dementia.

Now known as the ‘Wells Junior High Avita Lunch Crew’, these volunteers in groups of 4 or 5 routinely visits the dining area at Avita four times a week throughout the school year to assist staff in serving lunch. The total amount of volunteers in this four-year-old program currently is 28. While at Avita they also engage in conversation and make friends with the residents. During the last school year, one volunteer was actually providing a resident with piano lessons.

According to physical education teacher and the group’s organizer and chaperone Renee Savage, working at lunchtime at Avita also helps these fifth through eighth-grade students fulfill their school’s service-learning requirements.

“It was heartwarming to watch multi-generations working together to plant these purple flowers,” commented Savage who indicated that the idea for planting purple plants at Avita originated with a former student volunteer. “The smiles on everyone’s faces proved that simply planting along a shared pathway can be beneficial to all!”

Some of the community members of Avita of Wells and WJHS student volunteers after flower planting in September. Renee Savage is in the second row at far right.