Aging Together wants to hear the stories of older adults who have done remarkable things after age 65 — as told through the writing of public, private and homeschooled students living in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange or Rappahannock counties.
The community partnership organization hopes to promote the fact that people over age 65 still lead active, fulfilling and remarkable lives, actively contributing to their communities through their jobs and their volunteerism.
“Older adults have fun, they travel, they invent new things. Many famous people made significant contributions to society in their senior years,” an Aging Together spokesperson said in a prepared statement. “At 75, Helen Keller published ‘Teacher’ in honor of her miracle-worker teacher, Annie Sullivan. At 72, Michelangelo was appointed architect of St. Peter’s in Rome. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 69.”
Aging Together invites students in sixth through 12th grades to submit essays of 750 to 1,000 words describing seniors they know who are “Aging Remarkably” — the theme of the essay contest. Each essay will be judged on the quality of the writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling, not how dramatic or exciting the senior’s story is. Awards will be given in two groups: one for sixth through eighth grades, another for 9th through 12th grades. One winner and two honorable mentions will be selected for each grade group in each county.
“Not every senior saves the world or creates a famous work of art. Henry George Miller made the “Guinness Book of World Records” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” when, at 93, he scored a hole-in-one at the 11th hole of an Anaheim, Calif., golf course. He took up the sport in his late 50s and was still golfing at the age of 102,” said the Aging Together statement. “At 62, Mavis Lindgren discovered running, and she hasn’t stopped since. She ran her first marathon at 70, along the Avenue of the Giants in northern California’s Humboldt Redwood State Park, and won a trophy for oldest finisher.
“Tell Aging Together the stories of seniors you know who have made an impact on you or your community.”
First-place winners in each county will receive a $50 gift card and will have their essays published in the local newspaper and on the Aging Together Web site. Honorable mentions will receive certificates and will have their essays published on the Aging Together Web site.
Essays and completed registration form must be received in the Aging Together office by 5 p.m. Dec. 15. Awards will be announced by April 2011 and will be published during Older American’s Month in May.
Aging Together is a community partnership taking action now to improve quality of life for the growing population of older adults. For more information call 540-829-6405 visit agingtogether.org.
Farm school outfitted with a new teacher
Brandon McCrary, formerly of Weasel Creek Outfitters, is the new farm manager and teacher at Mountain Laurel Montessori’s Farm School in Flint Hill. “Brandon has a natural affinity for adolescents,” notes school director Susan Holmes. “He loves the Blue Ridge and its people, is an avid outdoorsman, a Civil War re-enactor and, with his wife, Wendy, led a Scout Venture troop. He knows our students, having led them on canoeing, camping and backpacking trips for six years. My fellow teacher David Salgado and I look forward to working with him.”
McCrary began his formal Montessori adolescent training this summer. “Dr. Montessori’s book, ‘From Childhood to Adolescence,’ is my basic text” says McCrary. “As she wrote, ‘adolescence is the time when the child enters on the state of manhood and becomes a member of society.’ ” I look forward very much to guiding these children.”
The Montessori Farm School is on a 23-acre parcel just south of Flint Hill. McCrary and his family have moved into the farmhouse. “I am excited at this job’s prospects,” he says. “I enjoy meeting the Rappahannock community, and the Farm School is sited on a nice piece of land.”
Now in its seventh year, the Montessori Farm School serves children ages 12 to 15. Its land-based curriculum offers opportunities for social, intellectual, physical and creative exploration. The school year began Sept. 7 with a hike up Old Rag Mountain.
R-MA appoints two from Rappahannock
Two Rappahannock County students were among those appointed to the student leadership organization as part of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) in Front Royal.
Kevin Fernandez, a senior from Huntly, received the rank of first lieutenant and will perform the duties assigned to the 2nd Squadron executive officer. Kevin is the son of Gary and Filomena Fernandez.
Junior Sean Knick of Washington received the rank of master sergeant and will perform the duties assigned to the Band Squadron first sergeant. Sean is the son of Sean and Debbie Knick.