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Lansing Christian students visit Tri-State Village to provide tech support and friendly conversation

LANSING, Ill. (November 30, 2023) – Eleven middle-schoolers from Lansing Christian School gathered outside Tri-State Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Lansing on Wednesday morning.

“People always say how much younger generations can learn from older people, but the opposite is also true: they can learn a lot from you,” Christian Moody told the group before they walked into the building.

Moody is the Director of Business Development at Tri-State, and had previously spoken with Lansing Christian School Principal Matt Kamien about some client needs surrounding technology. The two worked out a date for LCS students to come and assist clients.

Tri-State
From left: London Ruiz, Susan Alleman, Arianna Hemp-Anderson, Oleta Brown-Williams, Akeliah Williams, Elizabeth Alons, Ivy Schmidkte, Laney Nelson, Caleb Schutt, Leila Chew, Vida Lopez, and Tri-State Director of Business Development Christian Moody. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Tech support

The 11 students, along with LCS teacher Megan VanderZee and LCS principal Matt Kamien, gathered in a common area within the facility to meet with Tri-State clients and residents who needed assistance with their smartphones or tablets. According to Moody, a Medicaid program had provided clients with new devices, but many clients still were not sure how to use them properly.

Tri-state
11 students from Lansing Christian school came to Tri-State Village on Wednesday, November 29. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Lansing Christian middle-schooler Caleb Schutt said he was able to help a client — Niko Chacon — figure out his tablet. “He needed help with his contacts and stuff in his tablet, and also he had a game that wouldn’t load,” said Schutt.

“He fixed it for me. I got emails, I got all of it,” Chacon said. “It’s been hard to do it. We had a hard time trying to get in.”

Niko Chacon (right) explains a tablet issue to LCS student Caleb Schutt. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Another student, Elizabeth Alons, helped a man named Phillip turn on his new phone and learn how to make calls.

Elizabeth (left) helps Phillip with his phone. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Akeliah Williams of Lansing Christian School assists a Tri-State client with a smartphone. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Prior to the students’ arrival, Moody had dropped off a phone and a tablet at Lansing Christian School for teacher Megan VanderZee to prepare the students. VanderZee typed out a list of instructions for turning the devices on and off, making a call, and other basic functions. Students used these sheets as the basis for their tech tutorials.

Ivy Schmidkte is bilingual, and helped a Spanish-speaking woman by translating written instructions for her phone. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Moral support

Beyond any tech issues, Moody said a benefit to having the students meet with clients lies in the power of a friendly conversation.

“For some of our residents, they may never learn how to use the technology. But the fact that someone came in and spent time, and was kind with them, that means everything,” Moody said.

Some residents didn’t want tech support, but they were happy for a friendly conversation. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Conversations around the room would shift to life experiences, sharing about the Thanksgiving holiday, and other stories. Sometimes the conversation shifted from how to access contacts on phones to the actual contacts themselves. One man used his new knowledge to call a loved one, and told the person on the call that he’d received help from a student, and now he could call.

This Tri-State client received help from Susan Alleman… (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
Tri-state
…And in no time he was on the phone with a loved one. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“We’re hoping this is an ongoing partnership, and also that it opens up a pathway for students to get more engaged,” Moody said.

Christian Moody (center) said she hopes Wednesday’s visit is the beginning of an “ongoing partnership.” (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Tri-State Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is located at 2500 175th Street in Lansing. Lansing Christian School is located at 3660 Randolph Street in Lansing.

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.

1 COMMENT

  1. Kudos to the students and staff from Lansing Christian for their willingness to assist those in need of cell phone navigation. Their story warmed my heart and it hasn’t been warmed like that for a long time. I hope they continue in this path. Nothing but good can come from it.

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