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Roseville, Calif.- Each month, fifth-grade students from Stoneridge Elementary School’s Leadership Club visit Sutter Rehabilitation Institute (SRI) in Roseville to visit patients.

Teacher Cathy Wallace contacted SRI recreational therapist Alyssa Rose to develop the volunteer partnership after her mother-in-law spent time at the facility for a knee replacement.

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Stoneridge Elementary Leadership Club Visits Sutter Rehabilitation Institute

“When the students visit SRI, they come away with the satisfaction that, in spite of their youth, they have made a difference in the lives of others,” said Wallace. “It’s just one hour of our time, and we walk away with fuller hearts because we have made a connection with someone.”

During the students’ visits, they interact with patients while playing bingo or making crafts. The Leadership Club also participates in a number of other philanthropic efforts that support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Red Cross and Sacramento Blue Star Moms in Roseville, to name a few.

“Serving the community empowers young students to become leaders and advocates for those in need,” said Wallace. “Such activities instill a sense of self-worth in children, and open doors for the future.”

SRI offers an intensive inpatient rehabilitation program in an acute hospital setting. Patients, who may be receiving therapy after a stroke, brain or spinal injury, or a complex orthopedic or medical injury, participate in at least three hours of therapy, five days a week. The SRI therapists and physicians also work to provide as many fun and functional therapy activities as possible during a patient’s stay – whether it’s visiting with students, hitting golf balls on a driving range, making a quick shopping trip to a local store, or working on exercises in the therapy gym. Through this program, the average patient only stays at SRI for 12 – 14 days, compared to 21 – 28 days at a skilled nursing facility.

“We know that it’s hard to be away from family and home, and we want our patients to get the best rehab services that prepare them for life after their injury, in the best environment possible,” said Rose. “Having the students present to assist with these large group activities also addresses socialization for individuals following their life changing event, in addition to the fine motor skills, memory recall, following directions and problem solving skills that patients are working to regain.”

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