CUTE: First-grader reads to residents of senior living center

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
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EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. (KARE) – A Minnesota first-grader is brightening the day of senior citizens, one book at a time.

Maggie Kuznia is a 7-year-old with a love for reading and chatting. The natural storyteller soon began reading to the elderly residents of a senior living center in East Grand Forks.

Maggie’s mother, Tiffany Kuznia, works at Heritage Grove and often brings her daughter to work with her.

“Well, I guess it all started with storm days,” Kuznia said. “She couldn’t go to day care, anything like that, so she’d come to work with me.”

One day about five months ago, Kuznia said her daughter was packing up her bag. When Kuznia reminded her to bring her Nintendo Switch, she said Maggie told her she wasn’t going to bring the game console and instead was bringing books to read to the residents.

On that day, Maggie began to make new friends.

She began making the rounds, reading to residents like 96-year-old Margaret Sondreai and Patti Griggs, who used to teach first grade.

No other child starting first grade has had so many reading tutors.

“It’s helped tremendously and it builds up her confidence in reading too,” Kuznia said. “She falls asleep every night with a book in her hand. Every morning there’s like three or four books in her bed.”

Maggie’s grandfather also works at Heritage Grove.

Joani Benson, another resident, isn’t Maggie’s grandmother, but she plays the part well when the two share a book.

“At least once or twice a week. So, whatever she wants to read that day is what she packs up,” Kuznia said.

Through her own actions, the young storyteller has made a new story of her own.