Karen children sing for South Shore residents
WORTHINGTON -- A group of Karen students brought cheer to residents at South Shore Care Center, entertaining them with patriotic songs in celebration of Independence Day, Tuesday.
Sue Hagen, Prairie Elementary teacher, led the children in singing six songs -- "The Star Spangled Banner," "This Land is Your Land," "America to Me," "One Small Voice," "Fifty Nifty United States" and "We Love Our Flag."
Dressed in their self-decorated apparel of red, white and blue, students ranged from kindergarten to fourth grade.
Worthington is home to to a diverse community, among which are Karen refugees, originally from Myanmar.
"They are refugee students, meaning that most of them came here (U.S.) after October of 2007," Hagen said.
This summer, Hagen, assisted by Megan Burnham, AmeriCorpsVista worker, is teaching 13 Karen children through a refugee grant.
"We wanted to give them extra programming to continue their learning, so we decided to do something patriotic," Hagen said.
Because the five-week program accommodates students from various academic levels, Hagen said the class structure focuses on experiential learning.
Apart from singing, students made napkin rings for their audience.
"I thought that it was important that they do some community service," Hagen added.
Resident Earl Duncan enjoyed the session because it brought back memories.
"We used to do this years ago in Dundee school for Memorial and Christmas holidays," Duncan recalled.
South Shore Care Center currently houses 63 residents.
"Anytime that schools call or daycares, we love to have kids come," said Suzan Wellendorf, South Shore Care Center's activity director. "As long as we have smiles on the faces of the residents, we've gotten all the goals we need to hit."