Two Academy for Classical Education tenth graders created a program called “We Are More Alike Than We Thought.”As part of the program, ACE Kendall Joyner (pictured above left) and Ben Trofemuk (pictured above right) built or bought games to share with residents living in two Bibb County retirement homes.
Trofemuk came up with the idea after speaking with his aunt who works at East View Nursing Center in Macon. She told Trofemuk that after paying their retirement home expenses, residents had very little to spend on extras like snacks and sodas. Trofemuk thought he could solve the problem and bring some joy to residents during at least one week of the summer. He invited Joyner to join him in the endeavor.
Trofemuk and Joyner raised money for the games and received donations for the snacks. After careful planning, they were able to hold a five-day event at East View. The week included Nerf Gun Day, where the students purchased Nerf guns and built targets and Game Day, which included BINGO and a card game called Wham-O. Students also held a music day where residents made maracas and played “Name that Tune” with music from their generation. Additional days had themes like I-Spy bottle day and Talking Ball Day.
“ACE is terribly proud of Ben and Kendall! Both young men spent a great deal of their summer months giving back to their community with this project,” said ACE Cofounder and Complex Principal Laura Perkins. Because ACE believes strongly in service to others, these young men truly lived up to ACE Student Declaration whereby each day they declare that they will be the best version of themselves.”
In addition to East View, the students visited Morningside of Macon in the city of Macon. During the one-day event, the students brought the Nerf guns they purchased and the targets they built.
As a result of the project, Trofemuk and Joyner say they were able to teach community members new skills like Nerf gun shooting. They also realized that older adults share similar interests. Like them, they enjoy playing games, watching television, hanging out with friends and eating snacks. That’s how they ultimately came up with the name for their project.
The tenth graders have been invited to bring their program to The Gables, a third retirement home in Macon. They have tentatively scheduled a visit for January.