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School is Still in Session at John Knox Village

Partnerships with area schools give John Knox Village residents opportunities to share wisdom that can’t be learned from books or videos – even during the summer!

John Knox Village strives to achieve its mission of enriching lives, building community every day, not just on its campus in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, but for members of surrounding communities.

One of the ways the Village accomplishes its mission is by assisting students of all ages. In addition to providing opportunities for hands-on learning via internships and apprenticeships, the Village partners with educational institutes to bring residents and students together to learn about each other.

“Enriching lives and building community is much more than providing our residents a wonderful place to live or our associates a great place to work; it also inspires us to make meaningful contributions to the surrounding community,” said Dan Rexroth, president and CEO of John Knox Village. “What better way to achieve this than by helping to educate students and inspire them to become a smart, well-rounded and insightful generation of future workers and caregivers?”

John Knox Village has been participating in a wide array of educational enrichment opportunities for students in all stages of their education.

John Knox Village Resident-Student Opportunities

  • VIP (Virtual Intergenerational Project): Earlier this year 12 Village residents were paired with students enrolled in the course Human Development Theory in the Child and Family Development program at the University of Central Missouri. Known as VIP (Virtual Intergenerational Project), the optional assignment aimed to promote communication and understanding between different generations by matching residents and students with similar interests. After up to five meetings via phone or video chat, the students compiled their interviews and submitted them to the residents and for a grade.
  • Mentoring Program with University of Missouri-Kansas City medical students: The Village has a long-standing partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine on a project designed to help young medical students to develop an understanding of aging as a unique and diverse process, as well as to learn to effectively communicate and interact with older adults.
  • Lee’s Summit School District: When able, the Village works with schools in the R-7 Lee’s Summit School District on a variety of projects that pair residents with students.

“These partnerships are mutually beneficial as it busts stereotypes, provides opportunities to learn and grow and, best of all, builds new friendships,” said Kelli Snell, director of life enrichment at John Knox Village.

Professional Growth Opportunities

  • Departmental internships: Students have participated in a variety of professional environments, including hospice, communications, human resources and more.
  • Culinary Arts Program with Johnson County Community College: Budding sous chefs practice and perfect their culinary skills under the tutelage of professional chefs with experience in a variety of kitchen settings.
  • Dietetic Internships: Students from a variety of schools, including Iowa State, Auburn and University of Florida-Tampa Bay universities have continued their studies in a hands-on environment to learn the variety of ways a dietetics professional can make a difference for people in different stages of aging.

“We have the perfect training ground for students who are exploring jobs in the hospitality industry here at the Village,” said. Todd Hollander, director of Dining Services. “We have a variety of dining concepts and state-of-the-art kitchens plus we employ chefs with training, experiences and skills who want to share what they know.”