Great Graduation

The Marywood community celebrated graduation of the Kindergarten Readiness Class from St. Mary Child Care Center in a heartfelt ceremony on Thursday, June 15, in the Holy Family Chapel, wherein 32 preschool students marched to Pomp and Circumstance. But this was not a typical graduation: not only did the children receive diplomas, but they and their “Senior Buddies” received a certificate of recognition for participating in the Intergenerational Preschool Program. As the children and Residents sang, The More We Get Together, the Senior Buddies received a flower and a framed picture of the graduating class.

During the ceremony, graduates proudly exhibited what they had learned by singing songs in English and Spanish, and by reciting and using American Sign Language for the Pledge of Allegiance. Immediately following commencement, students, family members and Residents enjoyed a delicious barbeque luncheon with graduation cake for dessert.

One proud mother commented, “I just have to say thank you for the lovely ceremony…beautiful and beyond expectations. The grandparents and other guests agreed that this was the most meaningful graduation ceremony they’ve ever seen.”

Since November 2016, the children have walked to Marywood Nursing Care Center on Mondays where the Activities Room became a classroom. There, teachers begin instruction for both children and Residents. Lessons included picking jobs for the day, reviewing the year, month, and days of the week, discussing the weather, recognizing letters and numbers, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, singing God Bless America, story time, and daily lessons.

Observations of the program and feedback from the parents have shown this is a mutually beneficial program. The children learned to practice the Felician Core Values of Compassion, Respect for Human Dignity, Transformation, Solidarity with the Poor and Justice and Peace. They brightened the Residents’ days. A parent commented, “My daughter likes to visit Marywood even when school is not in session.” Another parent said, “My child pays more attention to the elderly and even stops and talks to them when she has the opportunity.”

This occasion marked a first in the history and legacy of the Felician Sister Child Care Centers. Michelle Lee, St. Mary Child Care Program Director, said, “Today, we celebrate our graduates and forging new territory with the Intergenerational Preschool Program. Congratulations, Class of 2017!”

Congratulations as well to the “Senior Buddy” Residents who participated in the program, and many thanks to the teachers and staff of St. Mary Child Care Center.

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Marywood Nursing Care Center has a Five-Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). This rating was developed by CMS to help consumers, their families and caregivers compare nursing care centers.

In addition, Marywood has received recognition as one of "America's Best Nursing Homes" by U.S. News and World Report for 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Thank you for taking such wonderful care of my Mom. We feel blessed to have been a part of the Marywood family.

Ann Igielski
Family Member

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