JAG Students Serve Hot Springs Residents

JAG Students Serve Hot Springs Residents
Posted on 04/12/2019
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For their contribution to Global Youth Service Day, our amazing JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) students at the Junior Academy chose various locations in the Hot Springs community to serve including: Brookfield, West Shores, downtown Hot Springs, and The Caring Place.Groups developed their own goals, shopping lists, and agendas necessary to complete service projects at each unique spot. JAG Coordinator Mrs. Goodman points out that students not only put thoughtful time into planning projects, but that she receives excellent compliments from staff members at each location regarding their manners and kindness, and their thorough job of cleaning up after themselves. Our #HSSD students are welcome back to all facilities at anytime. Students provide feedback below about why projects were important to Hot Springs residents, and why public service is so important to them. Find a full photo album of projects, here.

Brookfield Project

Brookfield is a senior living and memory care center in Hot Springs. At Brookfield, students prepared goodie bags with cards, fruit cups, soft chocolates, and cookies. They also purchased flower pots, soil, and flowers to arrange around the facility and in rooms. They talked with residents, performed a few songs, and distributed bags and flowers throughout the visit.

Students said:

”We chose that [Brookfield] because not many people go there.”

“It was enjoyable to see how they [residents] reacted to us, because when we first walked in, they were shy. They weren’t the same when we left, they were happy.”

“It was important to us to put the place back the way it was - that shows respect to the residents there. And they appreciated that. It makes them want to have us again.”

West Shores Project

West Shores is a senior living community in Hot Springs. Students brought muffins, cookies, fruit, and water to serve to residents as an afternoon snack during an informal presentation of songs and other performances from students.

Students said:

“We talked to people downstairs and those upstairs that couldn’t leave their rooms … they were all so sweet and nice. They were glad to see us.”

“I got to meet the mother of one of my teachers, which was so cool. As we handed out muffins and cookies and drinks, it was fun being able to serve them. We probably made their day, and that felt good.”

“We got to listen to their stories and advice. They knew a lot, because they had been through life. They enjoyed us coming there.”

Downtown Hot Springs
Another student group wanted to contribute to the tourism industry in the downtown Hot Springs area by greeting guests, handing out snacks and water, and providing general cleanup to the streets and park areas. They walked various routes in the downtown Hot Springs area pulling wagons of free water and chips, and carrying trash bags. They visited with many who were surprised and appreciative of efforts.

Students said:

“People new to the area were excited about how people were friendly to them, as though that doesn’t happen very often.”

“Elderly people, young children, and even homeless people were all there … and they all responded a little differently to us. Most were happy and thankful to see us, and some even told us the were glad to see someone doing something not for profit.”

“It was fun working as team to talk to as many people as we could, and represent our school and community in a good way.”

The Caring Place

The Caring Place of Hot Springs is a program of support, activities, and fun for people with Alzheimer's and dementia. Two groups of JAG students chose The Caring Place for their service projects. Both groups arranged for the purchase of snacks and drinks, as well as board games like Bingo and dominos, to allow for interactive time with residents.

Students said:

“I think that when they get to a place like that, they feel like nobody really cares anymore. No one gives them attention … When our groups come, it gives them some energy and hope.”

“Being at The Caring Place warms your heart. It makes us think - ‘what if our grandparent was in the same place?’”

“You will graduate out of high school, but you’ll always be in a community … these projects teach us skills that we need, no matter what.”

This series of outstanding JAG projects and many others are part of HSSD’s participation in Global Youth Service Day, joining the efforts of young people across the world to serve. Across the HSSD, students and staff are highlighting the many ways that we serve this wonderful community, through heartwarming projects like this one. Look for all of our #GYSD19 stories at Learn more about Global Youth Service Day, Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14, here.

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