You are never too old to learn. And our News 8 Golden Apple Award winner proves that every day. We surprise Janet DeBack at the Leroy Village Green Nursing Home.
Jan DeBack is amazing! She's been activities Director at the Leroy Village Green Nursing Home since it opened in 1979.
Administrator Dan Morphet says Jan has made this a home for hundreds of Seniors over the years. "She becomes a connection to them, really a part of their family. She really just gets involved with them, with their families."
Not long ago Jan and Psychologist Dr. James Brooks, came up with the idea of working with the University of Rochester on a continuing education program. Dr. Brooks says "This program allows us to provide certificates of education to nursing home residents who participate. I'm really happy to be able to work with Jan. This is probably the only program of its kind in the country. So I'm happy to be a part of it"
The "Aging Well Initiative" even has a graduation ceremony. Dr. Brooks asked us to say thank you Janet for all the hard work she puts in with the residents.
Whether it's learning about where chocolate comes from, or anything of the other topics they discuss, Jan says the key is to always be learning. "You're never too old to learn something. And that's what keeps us going, it keeps us young, it keeps us involved and we're learning new things. It's not the same old hum drum everyday."
"I love my residents" say Jan. "I love the facility and I love coming to work everyday."
Janet DeBack is a news 8 Golden Apple winner. You can read the letter Dr. James Brooks wrote nominating her if you look below.
Dear News 8,
Jan DeBack has developed and implemented a Nursing Home Resident's continuing education program in coordination with the University of Rochester's Aging Initiative Program under the direction of Sylvia Sorenson PhD. We believe this program for Nursing Home residents is unique at a nationwide level --- although it shouldn't be.
Jan DeBack's program offers continuing education credit to all residents; but for the most part to a cohort of women who were either discouraged from pursing their educational aspirations, forced to drop out of high school or even before entering high school to help with family finances or in some cases thought not bright enough for the family to invest in. The program has a graduation ceremony followed by a reception for family members, recognizes a valedictorian, and is praised by the participants --- the valedictorian was quoted as saying "Getting these certificates means a lot to me. I never went to college. I couldn't afford to go and I always thought I didn't have brains enough."
This program offers continuing education to students who for the most part did not graduate from High School; and therefore meets your framework for the "Golden Apple Award" because arguably the only real difference is the age of the students --- all else being equal it is the quality of the teacher including her dedication to her students that make this nominee special. Please accept this nomination of a great teacher and innovator for the "Golden Apple Award".
Dr. James Brooks, Consulting Psychologist