By Natalie Younts

Killeen Daily Herald

Sebrenia Rangels fourth-grade class from Peebles Elementary School videotaped footage for a documentary at Bell Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday. The class will enter the project in the Killeen Independent School District Film Festival.

Rangel has brought her students to visit the nursing home at least four times per year for six years. The children sing, read and do crafts with the residents. They sing carols to them on Christmas and paint eggs together for Easter.

I had students who needed to understand what it meant to be empathetic, she said. And it has worked.

The 15 students at the nursing home each had specific responsibilities for Thursdays taping session.

Mitchell Barrett, 9, had the task of asking an employee what he or she liked most about Bell Haven. He asked Patricia Lowry, director of social services.

I like that each resident is different and unique, she answered.

Resident Opal Bailey told Thaddeus Dancer, 10, that her favorite activities at the nursing home were eating and exercising.

Myrna Sahagun, director of activities for Bell Haven, said she wants to make the residents happy.

To me, theyre my life, she said. Sahagun acquired a big-screen television, an entertainment center and a bird aviary for the center by having car washes, selling burritos and other activities.

Resident Erika Bowker had her own question. Are you going to be a singer or musician when you grow up? she asked Thaddeus.

Bowker said she was born in Germany in 1926 and weighed two pounds. She was baptized immediately since she wasnt expected to survive.

Tyrrell McLaurin, 11, asked Cathy Clark, administrative assistant, what her duties were.

I do the books. Accounts receivable and accounts payable, Clark said. They like me on payday.

She asked the students if they liked math.

Do you like numbers? Do you want my job? she inquired.

Ten-year-old Nicholas Epperhart had the task of finding employees who were cooking, cleaning and working at a front desk, which he succeeded at.

I like the stuff we do here, Nicholas said. My mom is really crafty and I like to help her.

Resident Lois Straw said she enjoys doing crafts with Rangels students. Her favorite was a valentine from several years ago that she has kept.

Jessy Loy, 9, asked Bobbie Jackson-Williams if she worked with all the residents, or just a few.

I work with every resident to be sure they get a nutritious diet, she responded.

Thats a wrap, Jessy said, motioning to the camera.

Contact Natalie Younts at

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