By KATHRYN RICHARDSON | Staff Writer
Students involved with communications media relations took a trip to Nashville on Thursday, Nov. 18, to give presentations and developed an Alzheimer’s Memory Kit.
Students presented information about living biography memory kits to Area Agencies on Aging and Disability (AAAD) and the mid-state chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“The source of information for the project was the Alzheimer’s Association and its website,” said Christina Hicks-Goldston, assistant professor for the Department of Communications.
Hicks-Goldston said the project was inspired by the HBO documentary, “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?” narrated by Maria Shriver.
The HBO film tells five stories of children, ages 6-15, dealing with grandfathers or grandmothers suffering from Alzheimer’s. Maria Shriver provides commentary and teaches the children lessons encourage them not to blame themselves for their grandparents’ actions.
The Media Relations class created living biography “Memory Kits” for high school and middle school aged students whose loved ones suffer with Alzheimer’s.
The class worked in five groups. Three concentrated on assisting high-school students and two worked with middle-school students.
Students Amanda Bosheers, Stephanie Brunson, Jerry Cherry, Synthia Clark, Douglas Goddard, Holly Groves, Andrea Hayes, Raven Jackson, Julia Lovins, Lee Pardue, Amy Roberts, Elana Stubbs, Brittany Taylor, and Holly Templeton represented the five groups. They had been working on the kits since September.
The project taught others how to create a video and scrapbook to remember their loved one. Special instructions about the kinds of questions they should ask friends and family members, where they can find information about family history, the cost and location of supplies for the project and how to create a video from framing to editing were all covered.
Each group created a name for their product and prepared a press kit with the information.
The students provided sample memory kits and example scrapbooks for members of each organization to keep. Some groups also created websites and links to social networks.
After seeing what APSU students presented, members from AAAD offered access to their websites to help “spread the word.” They also committed to forwarding kits to area schools and organizations.
Tiffany Cloud-Mann, from the local Alzheimer’s Association, agreed to forward contact information to local schools preparing an Alzheimer’s project as well.
“I am extremely proud of those students. They were informed, professional and proud of their work. The members questioned them and treated them as professional communicators, and they were remarkably composed,” Hicks-Goldston said.
Hicks-Goldston said she thinks APSU’s Communications department was well represented.
More kits are being sent to the national Alzheimer’s headquarters and others will be sent to local groups, including Nashville-area Senior Services Network, Fifty Forward and Alyssa Brandon, the Active Older Adult coordinator for the YMCA.
The class will make a final presentation at the semester’s end to other students in the class and invited faculty members. For more information on how to obtain an Alzheimer’s Memory Kit, contact Hicks-Goldston at (931) 221-7279. TAS