From Mrs. Fontaine's initial tour of the facility and meeting residents, she began to come up with activities and events for the residents. The greatest addition to Methodist Specialty Care Center is the General Education Development (GED) Class. Two residents of the facility expressed an interest in getting their high school diploma and Mrs. Fontaine, a former college instructor was quick to respond to the request. Obtaining their GED allows the residents a sense of accomplishment, potential for continuing education, higher self-esteem, and a better quality of life. The GED class is not an activity you would expect to find at a long term care facility. That's the beauty of the structured volunteer program at Methodist Specialty Care Center.
Education today is considered a critical and necessary part of our lives and Mrs. Fontaine has been the leader in impacting the resident's lives with the class and the positive approach she uses to keep them encouraged and passionate about obtaining their GED. This has also been a rewarding experience for the staff who have been involved by assisting the "students" with their homework, which provides an additional bonding between the participating staff member and the "student".
Through the GED Program, we give young individuals with severe disabilities the opportunity to finish school which they were not able to do otherwise. It is the responsibility of the staff to implement each resident's plan of care. The resident's participation in the GED class is included in their respective detailed care plans. By teaching the GED class Mrs. Fontaine is providing a tool to assure the staff is able to meet the goals set forth in these care plans. Mrs. Fontaine has involved other volunteers in the facility by educating them and encouraging them to assist the residents with reviewing their class work and helping them with any homework or assignments. The teen volunteers tutor the residents and are able to develop relationships with them on a different level.
Mrs. Fontaine is an extremely extraordinary individual who week after week dedicates her time with the "students" assisting them with the GED class. Because of the difference in reeducation level, Mrs. Fontaine takes extra time to ensure that both "students" assisting them with the GED class. Because of the difference in education level, Mrs. Fontaine takes extra time to ensure that both "students" are able to comprehend the lesson and achieve their goals. Mrs. Fontaine has become a part of the family to these "students", celebrating their birthdays, holidays and any other special events in their lives. She's cheerful and inspiring and a great example of what a difference volunteering can make.