Prairie Grove EAST Students Bridge the Technology Gap Between Generations


Prairie Grove EAST Students Bridge the Technology Gap Between Generations
12/15/2009 8:40:55 AM

7th and 8th grade students from the Prairie Grove Middle School EAST Program put five weeks of hard work to the test as they held their first annual Medicare Open Enrollment Event.

In early November, fifteen members of the Prairie Grove Middle School EAST program were pulled out of their classes for the day while Pat Holthoff, creator of the SHIIP program (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) came up from Little Rock to train them to assist seniors in changing their prescription drug Medicare programs online. Once the students were trained, they spent the next four weeks practicing their newly acquired skills and working through their training manuals to prepare for the big event.

Project leaders Kayla E. and Aubrey E. had a lot to do before the big day arrived. The girls created maps and signs indicating where the event would be held; made a refreshment list, and assigned other project participants to various tasks and duties. Everything from door greeters to pianists to escorts to walk event participants to and from their vehicles - the girls organized a very successful event.

Friday, December 11, 2009, was the big day. Students arrived at the EAST classroom at 8:00 to set up for the event. Right at 9:00, participants began rolling in as the students greeted them and began searching for the best prescription drug prices on the internet. Pat Holthoff stood by to answer any questions that might arise during the process. While event participants waited their turn in the computer lab, EAST students were available to play Chinese Checkers, Wii games, dominoes, and Sorry, which allowed the two generations to come together and really get to know each other. The Prairie Grove Senior Center arrived with ten members and they challenged our EAST students to a rousing game of Bean Bag Baseball. After an hour of play, the seniors won one game and the EAST students won the other, which will lead to a playoff match at the Senior Center in January.

PGMS EAST would like to thank Cynthia Cato, a representative from the Social Security Administration who was on hand to answer questions. We would also like to thank Morgan Lauener-Cobb and Randi Raines, representatives from the Area Agency on Aging who also attended. Linda Willkie, Site Manager for the Prairie Grove Senior Center, was instrumental in her group leading the baseball game and EAST would like to thank her as well. Finally, we would like to personally thank Ms. Pat Holthoff for her dedication to making the training and implementation of this project a huge success.



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