High school students help the elderly | Teen Ink

High school students help the elderly

February 6, 2012
By Caravana GOLD, Joplin, Missouri
Caravana GOLD, Joplin, Missouri
11 articles 1 photo 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

Compassion and love is felt by those at Christian Village as high school students visit the elderly and put a smile on their face.

“I love seeing the joy that they get from getting out of the rooms and enjoying a new activity other than their scheduled activity,” said Jessica, senior.

Janet Meyers has been teaching high school for 24 years as a communication arts teacher and began the program as a way of making use of the 11-12 center’s location and get students out in the community. Meyers' mother is a member of Spring River and she saw this as a way to brighten her and the other member’s day.

“I wanted to make our school location work for us and I thought what kind of things can we do here so we can get our kids involved in the spirit of community. My mother is a resident and that was a way that I felt my work could help benefit her and other residents,” said Meyers.

Meyers saw how the high school was focusing on the new high school in years to come but she wanted to see what she could do now for the students.

“I was supposed to be on a committee for site council, but the goal of site counsel was to get us ready for the new school. I believe that’s important but we also need to be focusing on what’s happening right now, we need to be doing something for you guys now so lets look what is physically close to us and let’s make the best of that,” said Meyers.

One way students are helping at Spring River is to provide art classes to the elderly led by seniors Jessica and Taylor.

“We do simple arts and crafts such as door hangers, cookie decorating and greeting cards and later plan on adding a sketch class. These are activities that all different skill levels can do and their fun,” said Jessica.

Taylor enjoys seeing the long term effects this has on the elderly and how they enjoy this more than just a class.

“The way that the elderly respond to the new activities and the students is what I enjoy most. They all like the company and they enjoy younger people taking the time out of their day for them,” said Johnson. “I would like them to expand how many people are involved with this program. I’ve had many elderly say that they enjoy students coming to help and I know for me I think it would be good for the students, I help myself as well as the elderly when I volunteer.”

For Christmas the elderly had the opportunity to make Christmas cards and ginger bread people. The high school's TV Production students also went over to film Christmas messages from the elderly to their family. A group of 10 to 15 students went along to interview and film each of the elderly in front of a Christmas tree.

“It meant a lot to Mrs. Meyers so we figured anything to help out the elderly community. We enjoy it a lot, it’s nice to talk to them and see how their life is going and we are doing something we love, filming and using it to help others as a way for us to give back to the community,” said Sam, senior.

Sam enjoyed simply meeting someone new and seeing different generations coming together.

“Just meeting the elderly there and talking about how their day is going and listening to their stories. It’s nice to go out there and talk to before and have a conversation with a brand new person in your life,” said Sam.

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