UCO students forge relationships through art at Edmond Senior Center

University of Central Oklahoma art students have been assisting seniors at the Edmond Senior Center with an ongoing art project.
BY MATT PATTERSON mpatterson@opubco.com Modified: April 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm •  Published: April 20, 2013

Nell Francis, 89, of Edmond, lined the inside of her story box with a map of Oklahoma with her hometown of Kiefer circled. She also included a clothespin, some pearls and newspaper clippings.

“We're doing things that I relate to back when I was a kid,” she said. “I've been reading newspapers ever since I could read. I started out with the comics and gradually worked my way up. Now I read it cover to cover every day.”

Edmond resident Jerri Garlett adorned her story box with crosses and other religious symbols. Inside she's placing a coffee cup, prayer books and CDs, a Bible and some costume jewelry.

“I like bling, so I have few things in there,” Garlett said. “I was raised going to church and I still go, so that is a big part of it. I have a church steeple on each side. Jesus is very important to me. He's brought me through a lot of things, and when I look at this box, it reminds me of Him.”

Hyatt said the short time working with seniors has been beneficial to her students, and vice versa.

“One of my students got a letter from the person she was working with, telling her how much she appreciated the student listening to her stories,” Hyatt said.

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