Girl Helps Elderly While Helping Herself

On a snow day last winter, seven-year-old Maggie Kuznia accompanied her mom, Tiffany Kuznia, to her workplace, Heritage Grove senior living facility in East Grand Fork, Minnesota. But instead of taking her Nintendo Switch, Maggie decided to take some books and read them to the home’s senior residents. Her teacher had told Maggie reading out loud would help her with her class presentations.

The residents loved it!

Maggie’s mom says the reading sessions with Heritage Grove’s residents has had a “tremendously” positive affect on her daughter’s reading skills. She now has multiple reading tutors, including Patti Griggs, who used to be a first-grade teacher. “She’s such a good little reader,” Griggs says, “I taught kids how to read. There were very few children who could come in and read like that.”

But Maggie isn’t the only one benefiting from the readings. She’s formed a bond with many of the home’s elderly residents, who have become like surrogate grandparents. “I think the intergenerational part is so good,” Griggs explains. “Everybody likes to have the attention of another person and be special to them.” The former teacher thinks Maggie might be on to something and hopes that her story will inspire a movement.

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