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Students assist with the Senior News

Shelby Chavez and Desiree Ewing, both Pagosa Springs seniors in the Pirate Achievement Program ( PAC Program) will be guest writing parts of this and, hopefully, future columns.

The Pirate Achievement Program is an educational alternative to a traditional high school program. The PAC program is both expeditionary and experiential, supporting students in a more independent environment. It is located within the Pagosa Springs High School.

Shelby and Desiree will write about our seniors who come here to dine, dance, play cards, walk, meditate, stitch, listen to live music and contemplate art.

Join us here at the Silver Foxes Den where the small children eat with us, the Pagosa Springs High School and PAC program show their work, play their music and now, write about us.

Kits in The Den

By Shelby Chavez.

On Jan. 11, 2010, I accompanied my teacher, Marty Borges, to the Archuleta County Senior Center. Desiree Ewing, my classmate at Pagosa Springs High School and also in the PAC program (Pirate Achievement Center), joined us.

On this particular day a group called “The Dragonflies” were to present a choral program to the seniors. The Dragonflies are a class of children ages 2-5 enrolled in the Seeds of Learning preschool program. They lined up and sang such famous songs as the “ABC’s.” The children’s singing lit up the face of every senior in the room. It was as if you could see the diners reminiscing about many years ago. At the finish, the children bowed to the resounding applause.

While the diners were waiting for their food, Jodi Starr read the book “Are You My Mother.” by Dr. Suess. The children were excited as the story unfolded. Some children could not restrain themselves and would shout out parts of the story.

I observed the diversity between preschoolers, with many years ahead of them to create, learn and experience, and the senior citizens, with so many creations and experiences already lived, with great adventures to tell. They are each other’s past and future. At the end, the lines of age and experience blurred as both generations shared one of their favorite activities — lunch with their friends.

Senior Spotlight

By Desiree Ewing.

Chuck Kofoid was born in 1930 in Omaha, Neb. There he grew up to graduate from Tech High in 1948 where he was a successful running back with a great future ahead.

Chuck then attended the University of Nebraska where he majored in Greek language, which was soon not enough for him. He completed his master’s degree, which soon led him to the school administration office in Lincoln, Neb., where he became the superintendent. He eventually moved up to be the curriculum coordinator for five years while earning his doctorate degree. Next, he began his?33-year profession in education while he and his wife, Helen, adopted four lovely children — one of which is our very own Jodi Starr — and together they lived in Sioux Falls.

As the kids grew older, they started spending more time with the church after Chuck became an ordained minister. He would preach sermons around the country and they were often on the road.

Chuck retired in 1992 as dean of education at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan. He later moved to Pagosa to be near his daughter, Jodi. Currently, he enjoys the weather and especially likes golfing during the summer. He has visited every state in the U.S., all nine provinces of Canada, rode some camels in Australia, and has seen the busy streets of central Europe and a little bit of Russia.

He gave me advice about being a dean of education, which is that you should avoid it. And if you must be one, you should try to remember names, because he never did. The last thing I asked Dr. Kofoid before I left him to enjoy the singing children of Seeds of Learning was, if he could change something about his life, what would it be? He said “Nothing, except I would have loved for my wife to have lived a bit longer to enjoy more life.”

Help!

We need more volunteers to drive the medical shuttle to Durango. We provide the van and the gas, you drive a person to his or her medical appointment who couldn’t otherwise get there. Please call me, Jodi Starr, at 264-2167.

Recycle your T-shirts

Not only does our beloved kitchen staff create amazingly delicious and healthy lunches, but Nancy, Dolores S. and Dolores G. clean with old white T-shirts. And they need more. Just bring them to me, Jodi, at the office.

Weekly Activities at The Den

Friday, Jan. 22 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Book Club at Higher Grounds Coffee Shop 10:30 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.

Monday, Jan. 25 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Seeds of Learning 11:30 a.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 26 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 27 — Dance for Health 10 a.m.; Poker with Chris Scarpa 1 p.m.; Alzheimer’s Support 1 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 28 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Jan. 29 — Geezers 9 a.m.; Tai Chi Int. 9:30 a.m.; Stitchin’ in the Kitchen 10 a.m.; Tai Chi Beg. 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 22 — Pork chow mein, brown rice, cooked cabbage, banana, fortune cookie, bread.

Monday, Jan. 25 — Bratwurst, sauerkraut, potatoes, zucchini, squash and onions, peaches.

Tuesday, Jan. 26 — Combination burrito with green chile, black beans and cilantro, pears.

Wednesday, Jan. 27 — Roast pork, whipped potatoes and gravy, parslied carrots, strawberry Jell-O.

Thursday, Jan. 28 — No lunch, administrative day.

Friday, Jan. 29 — Chicken piccata, spaghetti, broccoli and cauliflower, mixed fruit, roll.