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Volunteer project pairs elementary kids, elderly

Published On: Apr 15 2013 02:34:11 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 13 2013 06:09:25 PM CDT

A third-grade Glacier Edge Elementary student reads to an elderly resident at St. Mary's Care Center.


Over the last month, third-grade students at Glacier Edge Elementary School in Verona have been reading to elderly residents at St. Mary's Care Center.

Dean Clinic psychologist Bhawani Ballmundi said kid volunteers can see improvements in their grades and exhibit less-risky behavior.

"The kids are giving me suggestions and this is all their idea, they wanted to do the volunteer piece, they wanted to come," said Jill Strand, who teaches the Verona third-grade class.

The teacher said the curriculum is having a big impact on the kids, who told her the volunteering makes them feel good and they want to do more projects helping others.

That is in keeping with studies that look at the value of kids helping others, doctors said.

"It's been shown in research that volunteering does help kids emotionally and psychically," Ballmundi added.