NEHS Leads Literary Groups at Cedarhurst Senior Living Center

Jacqueline Glenn, Staff Writer

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It might offer volunteer hours, but senior Chris Lott said the Cedarhurst book club is not about just that.

“Being able to get the…hours is nice, but the purpose behind the program is the main reason I participate,” Lott said. “(It is) to try and brighten up someone’s day at Cedarhurst, even if it only involves reading to them for an hour or two.”

Seniors Liz Mislan and Joshua Perry run the book club through NEHS.

NEHS volunteers visit Cedarhurst Senior Living Center every Saturday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., usually reading poetry or short stories to the residents.

“The program has been going on for a few years, but this is the first year it’s been at Cedarhurst,” Mislan said. “We usually have about six NEHS people come and around 15 senior citizens.”

Senior Ben McNabnay joined because he noticed the program lacked volunteers.

“One day, out of the blue, Josh Perry asked a couple people if they could attend book club at Cedarhurst because it was a few people short,” McNabnay said. “I thought that the residents would like to see some shining young faces so I said I would do it.”

Although some residents suffer from memory loss, some of the volunteers have formed bonds with them through the program.

“There is one lady named Rowena who comes every week,” Mislan said. “She is always up for whatever story I bring her and really contributes to discussions. We also get off-topic sometimes and end up talking about her life growing up or things like that.”

According to Mislan, that’s the club’s aim.

“(The purpose is) to spend quality time with the elderly in the community and read literature,” Mislan said. “I love reading and I think spending time with the elderly is a really special thing.”

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