Windsor Place Nursing Home Hosts Innovative Kindergarten Program

Coffeyville, Kansas, educational program inspired by similar classes in Jenks, Okla., benefits children as well as nursing home residents.

| June 2009

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    UNUSUAL SCHOOL: The kindergartners learning at Windsor Place nursing home in Coffeyville, Kan., have plenty of adult help.
    Ursula Turner
  • Age_to_age_learning-1
    A GOOD TIME: Mary Smith, a resident at Windsor Place, joins students in a game.
    Ursula Turner

  • Age_to_age_learning-2
  • Age_to_age_learning-1

A group of kindergarten students in Coffeyville, Kansas, definitely aren’t part of a typical class. Instead of learning in a school, the 21 students meet at Windsor Place nursing home.

“Having children in our facility is nothing new,” said Monte Coffman, executive director of Windsor Place. “We’ve had kids come here about once a week since the ’90s to visit with our residents. But this is different. These kids are here five days a week, from 7:50 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., throughout the school year.”

The Grace Living Centers nursing home in Jenks, Okla., pioneered the idea several years ago. Windsor Place offers the first such program in Kansas, having gotten its start after Coffman and his staff discussed the program with people from Jenks, and then with Robert Morton, a district superintendent in Kansas.

To make the children’s classroom, three resident rooms were combined. One area accommodates art projects, an­other includes a whiteboard for teaching, and in the third, children sit on the floor and play games on a rug. A playground with picnic tables provides additional space.

Windsor Place paid for all of the construction.

“The kids are really happy here,” Coffman said.

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