Students serving seniors

Orlando Salazar sits with an elder during lunch at the Southern Ute Senior Center on Wednesday, April 11.
Issac Herrera passes out hot sauce during lunch at the Southern Ute Senior Center on Wednesday, April 11.
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

“It’s a game changer because it can be tough, but once they cross through those doors, they become a part of the community,” Ignacio Middle School (IMS) Effective Education Teacher, David Quiroz said, Wednesday, April 11 at the Southern Ute Senior Center.  Quiroz has been bringing eight IMS students to the senior center every Wednesday since the beginning of the academic school year to engage with the elders. “I want the kids to have a connection to our elders and community,” Quiroz said.

The Effective Education Program at IMS helps students with social and emotional learning, which helps them connect with themselves and the community and encourages students to care about education again. This will be the fifth year that the Effective Education Program has been going to the senior center to serve the elders. The students each keep a journal where they document their feelings and it creates an atmosphere that helps the students explore their emotions.

“I want the kids to feel complete, if just for that one hour or just for the day,” Quiroz said, when asked what he wants the students to take away from this community engagement activity.

 

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