Middle school students from the Leadership Academy at St. Isidore School in Bloomingdale organized a school- and parish-wide craft drive this spring that collected more than 500 supplies to help the residents and patients of Lexington Health Network.
Eighth-graders Jenna Jamieson, Donovan Maloney, Isabella Sansone, Brendan Dunbar and Olivia Dorman, and seventh-graders Marissa Testolin, Jenny Hauser, Zach Barry and Henry Breyne were asked to create, develop, and implement a project that demonstrated leadership in their community.
The students selected Lexington Health Care after being moved by the needs of the elderly from some of their previous site visits. Students from the Leadership Academy personally delivered the crafts to the Lexington facility in Bloomingdale in late May.
"We felt like the elderly can use different experiences that are stimulating and engaging, and doing crafts is one way that their social and motor skills can be maintained and exercised," Leadership Academy member Jenny Hauser said.
"Plus, making crafts is a lot of fun. This experience with Leadership Academy has better prepared us to assess needs in a community and actually do something about it."
The Leadership Academy is open to seventh- and eighth-grade students at St. Isidore who demonstrate leadership skills in their school. Students are required to fill out and submit an application with teacher reference to be considered. Students spend the first half of the school year learning about leadership. The second half of the year is dedicated to project creation and implementation.
"This is the second year the Leadership Academy has been implemented at St. Isidore. It is such a blessing to see the impact it has had on the St. Isidore community and clients at Lexington Health Network. These students are very impressive in their character and work ethic," said Cyndi Collins, principal at St. Isidore School.
The Leadership Academy is overseen by Trevor Simpson and Samantha Hoover from Alexian Brothers Parish services. Parish Services provides school counseling and social work services to parochial schools in the Chicago area, including St. Isidore School.
Lexington Health Network is a provider of post-acute care and rehabilitation, long-term care, memory care, independent and assisted living, home health care, hospice care and private duty nursing.
Lexington Health Network manages more than 2,000 skilled nursing beds in 10 different post-hospital, nursing and long-term care buildings, as well as more than 500 independent retirement units and more that 150 assisted living units within three senior living centers, including a facility in Bloomingdale at 165 S. Bloomingdale Road.