Dutchess BOCES Carpentry Program Builds Latch Boards for Elant

Fishkill, N.Y. (April 1, 2011) – The Dutchess County BOCES Career and Technical Institute carpentry program volunteered to build four latch boards, used as a sensory stimulation tool with male dementia residents, for Elant at Fishkill and Elant at Wappingers Falls.

Elant at Fishkill Activities Director Patricia Roza approached Darren Davidson, instructor for the BOCES carpentry program, about building the boards because she was familiar with the quality of the students’ work. Davidson’s class had built a wooden bench for Elant at Wappingers Falls last year.

Roza simply bought the materials at local stores and provided them to the class, which finished the product a week later. “I had priced similar items at about $150 to $160 each in catalogues,” Roza said. “So Elant at Fishkill and Elant at Wappingers Falls are certainly thankful to the students of Dutchess BOCES for their generosity and skill in making these latch boards.”

The latch boards have door locks, hinges, light switches, wheels and outlet plugs. They are used to address the needs and interests of men with dementia. They not only improve small motor skills and stimulate memories but provide a familiar and meaningful activity for the handyman, carpenter, engineer, architect, or contractor who spent many pleasurable hours at home tinkering with tools and gadgets.

The students are part of the Interact Club, which is sponsored by the Arlington and Poughkeepsie Rotary. The Interact program is Rotary’s service club for 12 to 18 year olds. Roza is a member of the Fishkill Rotary.

“Each of the students expressed how happy they were to help the elderly and give back to the community,” Davidson said. “We were happy to help Elant. Our club participates in at least five community service projects throughout the school year.”

Photo: From left, Andre’ La Goy, Darren Davidson (instructor of the class), Kurt Preiser, David Marchant, Mike O’Hearn, Joe Demarco and Brandon Conklin. Not pictured are David Colonna, Maxwell Engler, Danny Kaine, Danny Lucia, Tyler Mara, Andre Parent and Anthony Surico.