By Ashley Winterstein
The Grasonville Senior Center has become a prominent partner with the Queen Anne’s County Character Counts! program in recent years. They first invited students from Kennard Elementary School to the Senior Center to have candid discussions between the generations about good character.
Then, they decided to take Character Counts! on the road to Grasonville Elementary School, where volunteers met with Dawn Kintop’s 5th grade class to discuss the importance of FAIRNESS and RESPECT. They chose these two pillars from the Six Pillars of Character (Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship), as they thought they were completely intertwined and both essential to discuss with youth.
This first trip was so successful that the six core volunteers from the Grasonville Senior Center – Bonnie Walter, Richard Cooper, Pat Morris, Andy Hieber, Jerry Kerchner, and Sheila Stutman – returned multiple times to meet with other 5th grade classes and have similar discussions.
These interactions have been memorable for both the volunteers and the students as they are able to openly discuss issues and concerns for today’s youth and share stories about each generation’s own experiences. Respect and Fairness were not only discussed throughout the lessons, but also shown by both parties, as no one spoke out of turn or frowned upon the opinions of others.
This noteworthy project earned the Grasonville Senior Center the “2012 Program of Excellence” Award from the Maryland Association of Senior Centers (MASC). They received a plaque, which proudly hangs at the Senior Center, and a check for $100.
The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to thank the Grasonville Senior Center for their partnership and the volunteers for giving so freely of their time and congratulate them on their well-deserved award.
If you have any questions about the Character Counts! Program in Queen Anne’s County or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Grasonville Senior Center, please contact Ann Martin at 410-827-6010. Character Counts! is a part of Queen Anne’s County Community Partnerships for Children and Families, our local management board.
In photo: Grasonville Senior Center Award Jerry Kerchner, Bonnie Walter, Sheila Stutman, Pat Morris, Andy Hiebler, Richard Cooper