BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Because of the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of graduating kindergarten students can't walk across the stage and have that special moment.
But Mattew Paulk and Laura Shriver-Brown, co-founders of the Oasis Adult Day Care Center, had an idea.
"I said you know the space isn't being used, you know why not adopt the kindergarten class because my son is desperately wanting his friends. He's like can I please have my friends come over and sleep over and he's very lonely," said Shriver-Brown.
"It's easy to overlook how much the value of those memories and also the value of that initial experience has to a human's life," said Paulk.
The Oasis is a New York State funded facility. It's designed to enrich seniors' lives and allow them to socialize with each other.
"They need a lot of support socially. Because you're isolated more than ever as a senior citizen," said Paulk.
"I mean the seniors have been really isolated, at least Brayden has his parents you know? These seniors have had no visitors, no nothing," said Shriver-Brown.
Not only does this give senior citizens an opportunity to socialize once again, it also gives those kindergarteners a chance to feel recognized. Because studying at home as a five-year-old was no easy feat.
"For them to have that sense of accomplishment and that reinforcement that the work that they have been doing does mean something and it matters it's just really nice to be able to do it," said Shriver-Brown
The graduation ceremony for the Winchester Kindergarten class is set for June 15 at noon.
Paulk said they will respect COVID-19 guidelines as issued by the state. The facility's maximum capacity is 200 people.
"Within those guidelines we'll try to provide some kind of memorable graduation for the kids," he said.