‘Lifelong Readers’ program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2000

experiences growing ‘pains’


Features Editor

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Reading opens the door to the world for young people and it holds the door open for many senior citizens.

Pike Manor Health Care Center has 213 residents and about half of them are still able to read and reading keeps them it touch with the world around them, said Rochelle Hill, activities director at the health care center.

"Our residents really enjoy reading,"

she said. "They get a lot of pleasure from reading and it keeps them informed."

Reading is like riding a bicycle.

Once you learn how, you never forget and many of the "Lifelong Readers" of Pike Manor are exercising their minds daily with books donated to the center’s "Lifelong" reading program.

Joyce Ingram Rice, coordinator of the "Lifelong Readers" program, said the purpose of the program is to provide uplifting, encouraging reading materials to the nursing home residents who have medical limitations, but still enjoy informational and recreational reading.

"I have always been a reader," Rice said. "For the past 25 years, I have worked with all ages, encouraging reading as a way to spend leisure time. I learned to love reading at the knee of my mother. As I grew up, she taught me that I could go so many places, even escape my problems, by reading. Now, that wonderful mother sits in a nursing home day after day, still reading and sharing her love of reading with others."

Rice said her mother still gets excited about finding a new book to read, and she has met many other residents who are also avid readers.

"It was my hope to provide a steady supply of reading materials for these residents who have given so much to my generation," she said.

Rice organized "Lifelong Readers" and asked for donations of large-print books and other reading materials.

She was overwhelmed by the response from Pike County and organizations outside the county.

"I could not believe the response," she said. "Almost 100 large-print books were donated to ‘Lifelong Readers’ by the Troy Public Library and they completely filled the library cart donated by Troy Bank & Trust Company. Guideposts, Inc. donated 30 subscriptions of their large-print monthly magazine. The Lutheran Library for the Blind

donated books

and the Large Print Literary Reader, which is similar to Reader’s Digest, donated back issues of their publication. That doesn’t include all of the donations from individuals. I am just overwhelmed."

The donations have, in fact, been so generous the loving cup is running over.

"We are so thrilled with all of the donations and we welcome more," Hill said. "But, we have filled the library cart and all of the available shelf space we have. What we need, now, is stationary shelf space for the books."

Hill said a large bookcase or wall shelving would be most appreciated.

"We are so thrilled with the ‘Lifelong Readers’ program and the response it has received," she said. "We want it to continue to grow, but we need some place to house the books as it grows. If anyone has a bookcase they would like to donate, we ask that they call 566-0880 with that information."

Hill said the Twilighters Service Club of Troy has volunteered their services two or three times a week.

"There are 40 members of the Twilighters and two or three of them will come each visit and push the library cart around the facility so residents may check out reading materials. Not only will the residents be able to select books and magazines in large, easy-to-read print, they will also get to meet and know some of the wonderful young people of our community. This is a wonderful project and we want to thank Joyce Rice and all of those who have made it possible."