The lives of elderly people were chronicled by students telling the story of nursing home residents in a book.

Soft SkillsAt Surgoinsville Middle School, eighth graders told the stories of Church Hill Care and Rehab Center (CHCRC) residents with stories and photos which culminated in producing a hard-bound book. They delivered copies of “Long Before Us” to all residents, minus one who had passed away earlier this year.

Surgoinsville Middle School 8th grade English Language Arts teacher Angelia Hensley and 8th grade social studies teacher Cody Sauceman won a grant which paid for the production of the book.  They worked with the students in their classes to produce it.

Recently the students took a field trip to the National D-Day Memorial, and Hensley learned that the 98 year old father of fellow teacher Lee Ann McConnell was a resident of CHCRC and a D-Day veteran. Mr. McConnell became the inspiration for “Long Before Us.” His is just one of the 25 stories in the volume.

The cover art for the book was created by one of the students.  It depicts a tree with the names of the residents written on the roots, and the names of the students written on the leaves.

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