Avon students out to make elderly look, feel beautiful

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FEATURE ARTICLE from THE CHRONICLE-TELEGRAM, 4-7-00, By Melissa McCord

''AVON -- Students at Avon Village Elementary School will keep residents at three local nursing homes looking their best.

The students collected health and beauty care items from family members and friends as part of a community sponsored by BJ's Wholesale Club on Colorado Avenue.

Avon Village is one of 107 schools in the country participating in BJ's program, which is called Community SMARTS - Students Making A Road To Service

BJ's and Procter & Gamble Co. of Cincinnati gave $200 to the students, who used it to buy items to donate during a recent shopping spree at BJ's.

Dozens of donations - including bottles of shampoo, moisturizer, combs, soap and other times - have flowed into the school since mid-March.

On Thursday afternoon, 18 first-graders in Michelle Lance's class sorted the donations. They organized an "assembly line" to sorts the items into large, white laundry baskets. They will deliver the baskets today to residents at Altercare Nursing Home in North Ridgeville, Avon Oaks Nursing Home and Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Avon.

GRETCHEN THOMAS/CHRONICLE

Avon Village Elementary School first-grader Tyler Gentry, 6, organizes hair supplies to be donated to area nursing homes.

"It's great that the kids are thoughtful enough of the older generation to do something like this," said Barb Bartlome, the marketing director at Good Samaritan. "Anytime the children come into our facility, we really look forward to that."

The students at the school even signed three large, colorful banners that they will give to each nursing home.

Students in Lance's class spent a busy Thursday afternoon working on the assembly line. Collecting the donations was a breeze, said Bethany Jensen, 6.

"All you had to do was ask and then collect it," Bethany said.

During the project, the students even learned a bit of math - especially during the shopping spree, Lance said.

"They worked really hard," the energetic teacher said.

BJ's, which opened in November, will give $1,000 to the school after the students complete the project.

"We like to work with our community, to do good things and to show that we care," said Monica Flaherty, BJ's marketing coordinator. "These are our future leaders."

Carl Baron, 7, said he was a bit nervous to visit the nursing homes today ...''

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