Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

March 21, 2013

Montessori students create books telling residents' life stories

The Andover Townsman

---- — Middle school students at the Andover School of Montessori recently concluded a six-week program with residents of Atria Marland Place.

Fourteen students in grades seven and eight were individually matched with senior citizens at Marland Place, and the students met with their partners every Wednesday afternoon.

During their sessions together, the students learned about the lives, families and occupations of their senior partners. With information gleaned from the interviews, Montessori students prepared a written and bound summary of the life stories of their partners, and shared the stories in a closing celebration at Marland Place on March 6. The celebration included the residents in the program, their student partners, parents of the students and staff at Marland Place.

Several of the summaries were shared out loud by the students, bringing smiles, laughter and tears to those present, according to some of those involved. The program was organized by Chris Ackerman, elementary and middle school director at ASM, and Mary Mazza, a staff member at Marland Place.

“It was probably one of the most memorable programs we’ve had in the building,” Mazza said.

She said the senior partners at Marland Place experienced such a meaningful relationship with the students, and that some of them hope to attend the eighth-graders’ graduation at ASM in June.