Greenfield Elementary first-graders read with seniors

Stephenson Memorial Library Director Ella Cademartori reads to the Greenfield Elementary School first-grade class and resident Beverly Wakeman.

Stephenson Memorial Library Director Ella Cademartori reads to the Greenfield Elementary School first-grade class and resident Beverly Wakeman. STAFF PHOTO BY CAMERON CASHMAN

By ISABELLA MESSA

For the Ledger-Transcript

Published: 05-16-2024 12:02 PM

The Stephenson Memorial Library has recently started a new program with Greenfield Elementary School to allow students to read and interact with seniors in the Greenfield community.

Library Director Ella Cademartori is leading the program, and she hopes to “give students a bigger worldview while also giving seniors more social opportunities that some might not experience a lot.” 

Students Reading to Seniors is partnered with Meals on Wheels, so each event starts with reading, followed by meals. The group currently meets on Thursdays, reading from 11:15 a.m. to noon and then having their meals from noon to 1:15 p.m.

Elementary students can read to seniors or be read to by the seniors.

“The first-graders typically choose stories like ‘Elephant & Piggie,’ and the seniors will typically choose something more familiar to them such as ‘Curious George,’ ” Cademartori said.

Although Cademartori hopes to expand the program to all of the elementary grade levels in the future, she recognizes how important the first-graders perceive their current role in the community.

“It’s really special to the first-graders, because they are the only ones currently involved. It gives them a sense of excitement,” she said. “As of right now, we’re really just testing the waters, even though it would be really great to open the program to the whole school of Greenfield and keep building the collaboration.” 

Cademartori also hopes to “add to a multi-generational community already founded in Greenfield in order for our town to continually become closer as a whole.”

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