Cooleemee students meet Bermuda Village benefactors

Published 2:35 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

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BERMUDA RUN – Bermuda Village hosted 26 Cooleemee Elementary School fifth graders on Dec. 13.

The children sang Christmas songs and read “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas” before working with residents to build Christmas ornaments.

There is more to this visit than meets the eye.

Mary Lou James, a former resident at Bermuda Village, learned of the financial needs of students at the school years ago and raised money at Bermuda Village to make sure the students would leave for summer break with five books to read.

She knew that children who read at least five books over the summer break are more successful the next school year.

Twice a year Bermuda Village residents collect financial gifts for the school.  In August the school received $6,400 from Bresidents for the school supply drive.

The Christmas program gives the children and staff an opportunity to show gratitude.

Courtney Forest and Alison Lewis, the Bermuda Village Activities Team, put together a craft event where the children custom made a tree ornament. They were seated with residents in the dining room and engaged the residents as they ate cookies, drank lemonade and worked.

“The residents and children enjoyed the experience and when it was over the children got to take a short field trip through the Resident Memorial Japanese Garden and were thrilled to see the huge Koi fish,” said Dr. Joyce Jones, an event organizer.

“The children love to learn.  When asked what they liked most about reading class, one of the students said: “We are studying Christmas around the world. When we get back to school today, we are going to read more about Russia and have some Russian food. I am told it is spicy but I am going to try it anyway.  On Friday we will read about Germany and then France and so on.  I like reading because it takes me where I can’t go.”

Each student shared their favorite class with the group of residents.

When asked why math was such a popular class it was clear the teacher made the subject fun to learn.

Another child said: “I am learning how to be organized and how to accomplish my goals.”

“Hats off to the Cooleemee school teachers and leadership team,” Jones said. “It takes a village to raise a child and the residents at Bermuda Village enjoy helping these wonderful children and staff.”