"I was sitting at home trying to think about lesson plans," fifth-grade teacher Amy Hardey said.
Watching a music video on YouTube by Brett Eldredge, a musician from Paris, Ill., called "Raymond," got the wheels in Hardey's head moving.
After talking with staff, Hardey decided it would be better to create a place-mat for each resident, an approximate 170 placemats.
Realizing coloring so many placemats might be a little difficult for her students, Hardey enlisted the help of other classes.
"I had parents with students in other classes talking with me about the project," she said. "The students watched the video and I talked with them about the elderly and Alzheimer's (Disease)."
Though she had some worries about how the students would respond, Hardey had nothing to be concerned about.
"They were very receptive," she said. "The students began to share stories and understand why we were doing this project."
After each class finished coloring its own set of mats, they were given back to Hardey's class, which then began the assembling process.
Setting up an assembly line and assigning specialty jobs, students began the gluing of die cuts, the final additions of designs to each mat. Critiquing each other and discussing mistakes, Hardey stepped back and watched as students worked together to get all the placemats done.
"We were studying the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving as well as assembly lines and specialty jobs," Hardey said.
"This was a good project that covered items from class and still did something to help others."