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Jefferson students deliver quilts, cards to nursing home residents

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MASSENA - Jefferson Elementary School fifth-grader Kylie Gambaccini was on a holiday mission - amass enough handmade Christmas cards to provide cheer to every resident at the St. Regis and Highland nursing homes in Massena.

It was a goal she met, and this week she joined other Jefferson Elementary School students in delivering the cards, as well as handmade blankets, to the residents.

Kylie said she had been asked by Faith Bish, Jefferson’s literacy specialist, if she wanted to take on a project, and she decided to make the Christmas cards for the nursing home residents.

“She organized the effort at Jefferson for making Christmas cards for the nursing homes,” Ms. Bish said.

She said Kylie wrote a letter to all of the teachers at Jefferson, asking if their classes could make cards.

“She collected over 200 cards. She organized and labeled them,” Ms. Bish said. “Some classes made Christmas ornaments.”

Kylie wasn’t the only student who wanted to do something special for the holiday. Jefferson Kids Care members Madison Ward and Zada David also delivered seven handmade blankets to some residents at the St. Regis Nursing Home. Each blanket carried a sewn-on tag that read “Created for you by Jefferson Kids Care.”

“We make quilts and blankets,” Zada said.

“We make blankets for people who need blankets, like nursing homes,” Madison added.

Madison, who along iwth Zada became a member of the group this year, said she had made two blankets so far this year. Some are made using a sewing machine, while most of them are crocheted, she said.

Also joining Kylie, Madison and Zada at the St. Regis Nursing Home were members of the J Crew basketball team, comprised of at-risk fifth- and sixth-grade students. They assisted in handing out the Christmas cards to the residents.

Teacher aide Deborah Moncibaziz and her husband help coordinate the club, and Ms. Moncibaziz said teachers recommend students for the team in October. Their basketball season runs through June.

“The Massena Basketball Association sponsors us for insurance. They also gave us money for the jerseys,” she said.

The visit to the St. Regis Nursing Home gave them an opportunity to do something in the community, according to Ms. Moncibaziz.

“Today we’ll be involved in community work,” she said.

The J Crew program comes with its rewards, she said, noting students who exhibit good behavior have an opportunity later on to go to a restaurant for dinner.

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