Hawgeyes BBQ

2005 Senior Q

November 11, 2005

Senior Q – Roosevelt Academy/Swamp Boys BBQ

When I read about Mike Tucker’s idea of designating October as “Senior Q Month”, I knew it was something that my school needed to be involved in. I teach at a 6th – 12th grade all special education school, and we focus primarily on preparing our students to be employable, tax paying, contributing citizens upon graduation. A key component of this is community service and involvement, so this would be a great way to teach that to the students, give something back to our seniors, and give me an excuse to do some barbecuing.
I emailed the faculty with the idea and asked for ways on how to fund it. Within minutes I had replies from all of our school-based, student run businesses with offers of food, money, and labor. Our school based restaurant, the E Street Grille, and culinary classes which are run by Mrs. Amy Bagby, volunteered to purchase and prepare from scratch the baked beans, cole slaw, and brownies for dessert.. The students spent the better part of three days shopping for the food and preparing it in the kitchen for the 180 lunches that we would provide for the residents and staff at The Groves Center Nursing and Rehabilitation. The seventh grade business, Eaglets Tasty Confections (ETC) lead by Ms. Susan Hornsby, stepped up and made a cash donation from their sales to help buy the meat, as did Mr. Ray Cruze, on behalf of our Ag department’s business, Roosevelt Farms. Mrs. Connie Garrett, a paraprofessional, also made a monetary donation for the purchase of meat.
Now that we had the funding taken care of, the plan would be for the students to help prepare the meal, then sit down and eat with the seniors and have some meaningful conversation. Several teachers began rehearsing with their classes how appropriate conversations might go, as well as some pertinent questions to ask.
When the big day arrived, we loaded the bus with 30 excited students and headed over to the nursing home. We got there a little early so the kids and seniors could meet each other before lunch. There was a lot of good interaction in no time at all. The seniors were happy to engage their new friends in conversation. A lucky few even got to sit at the table with a woman who was celebrating her 102nd birthday! By the time everyone was finishing up their pulled pork, beans, and slaw, desert was served and the kids and seniors seemed like old friends. One sixth grade boy even took it upon himself to help feed a woman at his table who was unable to do it herself. When asked how he felt about the whole experience, he replied “They are wonderful elders, they are so nice. And the kids loved them too. I love them, they were all beautiful on the inside. She even asked me to marry her! I’m going to miss her when we leave.”
Before we left, promises were made that we would at least do it again next year, if not an additional time during the year. Said one boy, “I enjoyed talking with all the people, and listening to their stories.”

Hawgeyes BBQ
1313 SW Ordnance Rd
Ankeny, Iowa 50023
T 877.841.7192 or 515.965.1206
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