Teenagers and residents of John Knox Village built intergenerational bridges when they met this spring for lunch, discussions and a game session.
High-school members of the R-7 district’s Student Advisory Group participated in an encounter facilitated by Emmanuel Ngomsi, president of a Lee’s Summit training and consulting corporation called All World Languages & Cultures. Ngomsi led a get-to-know-you session and provided practical tools to break age barriers and build efficient relationships.
“These two groups are more alike than they are different and have so much to learn from each other,” said Kelli Snell, John Knox Village director of resident life.
The young adults and senior citizens played a game called Yan-koloba, which has African roots. This activity promotes respect and acceptance of all participants and builds trust in a relaxed environment.
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“The students were wonderful and genuinely interested in spending time with us,” said Marjorie Stowell, resident at John Knox Village. “We played the game as well as had the opportunity to learn about each other. It was fantastic and I would love to do it again.”
The Student Advisory Group includes about 40 students from all R-7 high schools and middle schools. The student group was formed in 2014-15 to help school district leaders receive feedback regularly and hear student perspectives.
“Our students and staff thoroughly enjoyed connecting with the residents of John Knox Village,” said Kevin Daniel, the district’s associate superintendent of instruction and leadership. “The collaboration was impactful and a meaningful experience about diversity for our students. We continue to appreciate the great relationships we have with our friends at John Knox Village and Dr. Ngomsi.”