02/15/06 — Sharing the day with their elders

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Sharing the day with their elders

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 15, 2006 1:54 PM

Junior Army ROTC members were stationed in the Goldsboro High School parking lot Tuesday morning, ready to escort visitors to the school's entrance. At the door, they were met by Student Government Association members, also dressed up for their special guests.

It was Senior Americans Day at the school, an annual event paying tribute to the senior citizens in the community. And, since it was also Valentine's Day, those who gathered in the high school library were decked out accordingly.

"You look beautiful out there in all the red," said Patricia Burden, Goldsboro High principal as she welcomed the group that numbered nearly 100.

"These young people along with their advisors have worked very hard to bring this day for you. They have been busy gathering gifts just for you. It's an activity that we look forward to each and every year."

Stealing a line from a familiar song, SGA Advisor Harold Barnes said, "The more we get together, the happier we'll be."

The day of honor for senior citizens was sponsored by the Student Government Association and involved the entire student body, he said.

"The whole school really gets into Senior Americans Day," said Lynn Bull, another SGA advisor. "All the different departments are part of it and students really look forward to it."

He told the audience, "The students are here to serve you because you have been serving us all these years."

Among the activities planned throughout the day were poem presentations, ice breakers and games, a catered lunch, and performances by the drama department, Goldsboro High School chorus and band, and an array of gifts and door prizes.

Art instructor Nicholas Millnar also used his talents to take the seniors back to their own school days.

"Think back to when your teachers would say on Valentine's Day, 'Today we're going to make our own Valentines," he said before instructing them on an art project he called "drawing with scissors."

SGA Advisors Stephanie Parks and Marquitta Raynor said they were pleased to be associated with a group of students so interested in honoring their elders.

"This is my first Senior Americans Day so I'm very proud to be a part of this," Ms. Raynor said. She then challenged those in the audience to "grab one of the students and give them some words of wisdom" before the event ended.

Emma Fennell and husband Ray have attended the event for several years.

"I wouldn't miss it," she said. "It helps the seniors stay alert when they know that somebody loves and cares for them."

Student Government President Rashad Hinnant, a senior at the school, called it an important day.

"To all the members and advisors, it gives us a chance to give back to people who give a lot of knowledge, and to show our appreciation and love," he said. "It feels good to be able to do this every year."

And, he added, "What better day to show people you love them than on Valentine's Day?"