Rock Hill students sing carols to nursing home residents

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 11, 2002

When 84-year-old Georgiana Bragg came out of her room to use the telephone, 20 middle school students were singing her favorite Christmas carol, "Silent Night."

"They were good singers, and they all waved at me," she said.

Tuesday afternoon, students in the Rock Hill Middle School After-School Mall program, -- some dressed in Santa and elf caps -- sang Christmas carols for Bryant Health Center residents as part of a community service project. They also made cards and gifts for all 93 residents.

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"It's wonderful that these kids came in here and sang," David Brammer, After School Mall site coordinator for RHMS, said. "It was great to watch the residents, and you really saw the Christmas spirit."

After a performance for several residents in the lobby, the students then walked through the hallways, visiting some residents who could not leave their rooms.

"This was wonderful," Debbie Osborne, Bryant activities director, said. "The people here love seeing children. Some people just zoom through, but they stopped in all the rooms, where we have several residents who are bedfast. The kids came to them."

Osborne also complimented the students on their politeness and manners.

Beth Davenport, one of the After School Mall teachers who accompanied the students, said some of them frequently visit nursing homes and realize how lonely some of the residents can be since some do not get visitors often. Some of them had not been to a nursing home before and were excited about the trip, she said.

"The bus driver said they couldn't wait to get off the bus and start singing," Brammer said.

Eighth-grader Heather Shivley said she came dressed in a Santa cap because she wanted to spread cheer by being festive. She and several of her classmates said they came because they wanted to make the residents happy and possibly help cheer them up if they're not having a good day.

"It's a good feeling you get inside," sixth-grade student Beth Huff said. "It's a good deed the community can do."

"The two most humbling places a person can go to are nursing homes and children's hospitals," Brammer said. "I think by coming here, these students can understand life more."