Everyone was excited about the prom. They all got dressed up, the girls in colorful dresses, the boys in button-down shirts and ties. Excited attendees pinned cheerful corsages onto their collars. Residents decorated their wheel chairs and walkers, homemade refreshments were served and a teacher played the baby grand piano while students and seniors danced along to oldies and Israeli dance music. If this doesn't sound like a typical high school dance, that's because it wasn't. This was a celebration honoring the year of community service organized by Temple Beth Emunah TELEM students at Heights Crossing Assisted Living Facility in Brockton.
TELEM students from Temple Beth Emunah in Brockton have been volunteering at Heights Crossing throughout the school year, doing arts and crafts projects, hosting movie nights and leading discussions of historic and current events, as well as organizing a game night and bingo. Students and residents alike are enthusiastic about the program and grateful for the opportunity to get to know each another.
The students really enjoy their time with the residents at Heights Crossing. "I wouldn't call it volunteering, I'd call it fun," said one student, expressing a sentiment that is echoed by the residents. Everyone loves when the students visit, because "they really bring a lot of energy here. It's just wonderful," says one woman. Another gushed about how much she's enjoyed her experience this year, saying "I love to see the kids. I just love it."
After a school year of sharing many different experiences together, the students wrapped up their year of service at Heights Crossing by sponsoring the prom for the seniors. They danced and sang the night away, and hugged the seniors goodbye until next year, excited about the relationships they had built. "The prom was a fun way to wrap up the year," says one student, "and we're really excited to come back here next year. I just really like giving back, and the people here really appreciate us coming."