Twin Cities NBC affiliate KARE 11 News recently featured a heartwarming story about a inter-generational program taking place right here in Winona.
The program, named “Students in Residence”, places college students in Watkins where they not only live and eat, but also participate in activities with the older residents and help out around the facility.
In a supplemental webpage to the TV news story, writer Boyd Huppert interviews the students, Watkins residents, and program director Cheryl Krage. Huppert writes, “Krage saw an opportunity not just for students and seniors to live together, but to share social time and activities.” And quotes Krage as saying, “I hear residents wondering how the students are doing with their studies. ‘Are you eating enough, are you getting enough fruits and vegetable?’”
Freshman Joel Olson says in the story, “It was just something very surreal… Whenever people ask me, ‘Where are you living off campus?’ and I’m like, ‘In a nursing home,’ and they’re like, ‘What?’”
Watkins resident Nancy Neumann is quoted, “Even though I was never married, they are like my little grandchildren.”
The article reports students and seniors share in activities such as dining together, bible studies, crocheting, holiday decorating and more. The students even offer services to the residents like manicures and tech support.
You can read the full article from KARE 11 here