Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kearns High School students and senior citizens pause for photos during a pirate themed "Senior Prom." Students who have volunteered at the Kearns Senior Center held the prom with the seniors that included a scavenger hunt, talent show and the crowning of the king and queen of the prom. The prom was held at the Kearns Senior Center in Kearns.
Kearns seniors, students gather to build lasting relationships
‘Senior’ prom » Night is culmination of yearlong visits to senior center.
First Published May 22 2013 11:33 am • Last Updated May 23 2013 01:13 pm

Kearns » Bridging the gap between the younger and older generation, teens from two junior high schools in Kearns have been building relationships with the seniors at the Eddie P. Mayne Kearns Senior Center for a monthly after-school activity.

To culminate the school year, students from Kearns and John F. Kennedy Junior High participated in the fifth annual Pirates of the West "Senior" Prom. The pirate-themed celebration Friday afternoon was full of dinner, pictures, a talent show and senior prom royalty.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"This has been a really great opportunity to break down stereotypes on both sides because a lot of times seniors think that students are just rascally kids," said Kelly Riding, who is the after school manager for Salt Lake County Youth Services. "Sometimes the youth are scared of the senior citizens."

The program called Linking Youth and Kearns Seniors has the students visit once a month to play games with the senior citizens as both groups get the chance to build relationships while playing bingo and billiards.

Seventh grade student Carolyn Leoso has been visiting senior citizens throughout the school year and knows it helps her fill her time in a positive way.

"Its been a great opportunity to come here because there isn’t much to do after school and this is a chance to help other people," Carolyn said. "It is just like visiting your family because there are always great people here."

Ricardo Zaragoza, a ninth grade student, had visited at a senior citizen center before in California and knew he would have a good time spending time at the center in Kearns.

"It has come to feel like home to come visit here," Ricardo said. "I have learned that it is not that bad to get old by talking with the seniors."

Having healthy relationships built by the younger and older generation is a good thing for the community. Kearns Senior Center manager Josh Decola has been able to see how the seniors react when the younger students come to visit them.

"We might not be tackling all of society’s issues, but one community at a time, I guess," Decola said. "If we can make a little difference between the two generations then it is a good thing."


story continues below
story continues below

Senior citizens and students not only play games during their time together but they also were able to plant a little garden in the back of the center and are now just starting to see sprouts of their vegetable garden.

As a volunteer at the Kearns Senior Center, Pauline Jones enjoys the visits of the students because her grandchildren don’t live close, and this gives her a chance to spend time with the younger generation.

"I think for the kids, it is very educational for them to see what the seniors are like, and I know the seniors enjoy their company," Jones said. "I think a lot of times, kids don’t get a chance to do extracurricular activities, and they need activities like this."

closeup@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribWest



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.