Tribune Print Share Text

Students flock to Fox Run

Created date

February 22nd, 2010

Spring will officially arrive March 21. And March 26, participants in Fox Run s Adopted Grandparents program will invite their grandkids teacher Geri Yost s fourth grade class at Franklin Road Christian School to join them for a springtime project. The program, a collaborative effort between the Novi retirement community and its down-the-road neighbor, began in 2003. This school year, the 23 students and about 15 Fox Run adopted grandparents will gather 12 times for fun events at one address or the other. Activities range from a lively October poetry session taught by Helen Weingarden, a retired elementary teacher who s been with the program since its inception, to Christmas caroling at Fox Run and a fancy Christmas tea hosted by the students at their school. Last March, the group met in Fox Run s creative arts studio to decorate birdhouses made by the community s woodcrafters group. The kids wielded artistic paintbrushes and the grandparents cheered them on. Alice Lyons, who s been in the program for two years, was there for the birdhouse project. Working in pairs, the kids painted the birdhouses to suit their fancy maybe two sides one color and two sides another. They got pretty creative, Lyons says. Some painted ivy or flowers around the outside, or added painted windows. After everyone helped clean up, it was time for a sweet treat: Cookies and milk, or maybe root beer floats, says Lyons. The year s final gathering takes place each May, a get-together at Fox Run to plant a flower garden and enjoy a sack-lunch picnic. It s Weingarden s and Lyons favorite activity. You really get involved with the kids because you re down there on the ground digging, says Weingarden. And, she adds with a laugh, usually it s pretty muddy. It s fun. For Lyons, it s an opportunity to spend more time with the kids and to indulge in an activity she s always loved. I enjoy crafts and I enjoy gardening and I enjoy children, she says. It s nice to volunteer my personal time in this way.