Together, Students and Seniors enjoy a 'Spring Celebration'


PROVIDENCE — Spring was in the air for the celebration of Older American’s Month this past Thursday at St. Martin de Porres Senior Center in Providence. In a service initiative led by The Prout School freshmen, the youth prepared a lively spring picnic with music, games, raffles and fun for local seniors.
The day began with recitation of the rosary, followed by hamburgers and hot dogs from the Project Emmanuel food truck, with a new and smiling face behind the wheel — Father Jean Joseph Brice, pastor of St. Patrick Church, Providence.
Linda A’Vant-Deishinni, director of the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center, beamed watching the students interacting with the seniors, playing games together and connecting through food and fellowship.
“I think it’s so good for the seniors to know that the young people care about them. They love the interaction,” A’Vant-Deishinni said. “I think it’s so good for them to know the needs of seniors and that there will be opportunities to work with seniors in their future.”
“Everyone is so nice,” said Lauren Koswaski, grade 9. “It’s been really nice to be able to just help out everyone. It’s awesome to be able to meet all these new smiling faces.”
“It’s really fun and it’s been so nice putting the work in for this day,” said ninth grader Gabe Girard. “We all did it together.”
Prout School Principal David Estes shared that the entire student body has been dedicated to connecting with diocesan ministries, including Emmanuel House homeless shelter, St. Martin, and diocesan nursing homes: St. Clare and St. Antoine. He added that it’s been a blessing for the students to help the community and live their faith outside of the classroom.
“I think that’s what Jesus calls us to do. I remember Bishop Henning wrote about how evangelization through service was so important to the early church. So, we want kids to experience that. It’s important for them to start to build those like connections to see that we’re all children of God, despite maybe many factors that may separate us. It’s very inspiring.”