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Sherman third-graders, Dayspring residents celebrate Valentine's Day

Sherman Elementary students join Dayspring residents for soft drinks and potato chips in the dining room.

   Their ages are separated by decades, but not their hearts.

   Thirty-five third-graders from Sherman Elementary School filled the dining room of Richland County’s Dayspring Assisted Living and Care Facility with songs and smiles Friday morning as they joined residents for an early Valentine’s Day party.

   It’s an annual event for the school’s Leadership Group, students who are nominated by their teachers. They also visit Dayspring near Christmas and Easter and return for a cookout in May.

   “The kids made valentines and bags of candy for the residents,” said third-grade teacher Kevin Stone. “They did a lot to prepare for this visit.”

   The students, all wearing bright orange Leadership Team shirts, sang songs, distributed their valentines, then joined residents at tables for conversation and refreshments.

   Amy Clark, activities director at Dayspring, said residents always look forward to visits by the Sherman third-graders.

   “They love it. They absolutely love it,” Clark said. “A lot of them don’t have family nearby. The kids always make everyone smile.

   Joining Stone in chaperoning the trip were Sherman guidance counselor Linda Zakrajsek and safety specialist Stacy Bishop.

   Doc Stumbo, who works in public relations for Graham Auto Mall, was on hand, as he is during each visit, with potato chips and soft drinks provided by Graham.

   There was a bit of a twist this year: Dayspring residents had bags of treats for the students.

   “It was their idea,” Clark said of the residents. “They knew we had candy in my office, so they said they wanted to make goodie bags for the kids. There were about seven of them who put the bags together.”

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