Blue bags, 110 of them, are lined up around the room in neat rows. The Power C of the University of Tennessee of Chattanooga decorates each one.
Jill Shelton, Tomorrow Arnold and Brian O’Leary, all from the Department of Psychology, are packing the bags with crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, colored and regular pencils, writing journals, playing cards and lots of other stuff.
The bags are headed to Summit View Senior Community at the base of Signal Mountain, and the items in them were selected by the 28 students in Shelton’s “Psychology of Aging” class.
Last summer, students volunteered to work in facilities for aging residents, but the coronavirus prevented that this year, so a different idea was developed.
“For the summer class project, we had them create these activity kits with games and puzzles,” said Shelton, UC Foundation associate professor in psychology.
Arnold is an assistant professor of psychology and O’Leary is head of the department.
In Zoom meetings, the students worked in groups to come up with materials for :cognitively stimulating activities” for the 110 residents of Summit View, Shelton said.
“They talked about what they wanted to do, tossed around some ideas. They were pumped about it.”
Students didn’t pay for any of the items, most of which were donated by local businesses, she said.
On Friday, July 10, an employee of Summit View picked up the bags and took them back to the facilities’ residents.
Arnold, who has only been at UTC for a month, said she hasn’t worked on a project like this one before and “jumped at the chance.”
“It’s really nice to be able to do something,” she said.