Category: Elders

Elder program provides social integration for refugees

Posted by Lauren Bailey to Elders, Employment

By Zoe Yim, Social Media Intern

We left the Nashville Public Library Tuesday, July 22, 2014, but instead of going directly home, I dropped off a few members of the elder program. The intern just became a soccer mom.

Thus, I had to ask Grant Yoder, elder program director, the elder’s choices of transportation in order to come to Hillcrest Methodist.

Here’s what I learned about these immigrant elders. Several walk. Talk about dedication.

In order to foster community interaction, CRIT host field trips through the elder program. Since immigrants have more difficulty interacting outside their own subcultures, these program are a chance to practice English and also experience the dominating in Tennessee.

Elder, director and volunteers stand next to the book sculpture outside of the Nashville Public Library.



















Elder look at the Nashville Banner’s exhibit. The Nashville Banner was a former newspaper that ran in Nashville, Tennessee.




In CRIT’s elder program, we serve refugees or asylees ages 60 and older.  This summer, we have had 10 regular participants. They come to Hillcrest Methodist Monday- Thursday to learn English from 8:00 a.m. to 11 a.m.


Partnering with the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, a volunteer teaches the program members for four hours.


This program has three major components.

  • ESL classes
  • Citizenship classes
  • Enhancement

- a period during the scheduled program which helps the individual with physical, mental and emotional health.



Two Nepalese immigrants wear the traditional Dhaka Topi(right and left.)

By Zoe Yim, Social Media Intern

Just Enough Cooks in the Kitchen

Posted by Grant Yoder to Elders, News

Last week the Elders took a break from class to give back, and have a little fun. After speaking with the good people at the Nashville Food Project, they agreed to take us on, and put us to work in the kitchen. For those of you who don’t know, the Nashville Food Project is a nonprofit that provides nutritious, hot meals for those who may not have access. When the elders arrived at the office there was little time to stand on ceremony, as the evening meal had to be prepared.  There was a crew of 11 elders and two interpreters, and it was all hands on deck to get everything prepared.  Meat was cut, lettuce was shredded, onions were chopped, and cheese was grated, all under the watchful eye of the wonderful kitchen manager Sarah.  Along the way, some of the elders got to show off their ever improving English skills, and everyone learned a little Nepali and Karen kitchen lingo. After all the prep work was done, the elders got to take a tour of the facility, and learn about the great work they are doing.  Then, on the way out the door the elders got to take home a little reward for all their hard work, in the form of some bread.  In all, this was a wonderful experience for everyone involved, and hope to volunteer again very soon!

The salad assembly team.


Tanka says “That’s enough cheese.”

Padam is all business.

  Doing work on the cutting board.

     Go Team Elders!!!!

Elders Picking Up Where We Left Off in 2014

Posted by Grant Yoder to Elders, News

The elders program is getting right back into the swing of things in the New Year.  A lot of bright faces and eager minds from our group.  Students were excited to get back to learning, and are sharper than ever.  Their English skills are improving everyday, and I don’t think it is too ambitious to think we will be breaking down the works of Steinbeck and Faulkner in the near future (….perhaps a bit ambitious).  I am amazed  at how quickly they are learning complex concepts like the parts of the U.S. government while at the same time learning a new language.  They are a truly wonderful group of individuals, and I am excited to see what 2014 has in store.

Some of the big prospects for 2014:  more field trips,  more elders, and bigger spaces.  There are a lot of wonderful things to do in Nashville, and I want this group to know what this city has to offer.  We are also hoping to get some more elders involved in the program to enjoy the company of our current group.  I know there are many elders out there who would love interacting with this wonderful group.  Finally we hope to find a new space to conduct our class, to give us some more room to dance/learn.  Things are looking good with our group, and will keep you posted on the latest developments.

Fighting Fire with Fun!

Posted by Grant Yoder to Elders, News

Today marked an exciting day for our Haywood elders’ class. Having spent a lot of time in the classroom diligently studying Civics and English, it seemed like an opportune time to get out and learn something new. Many of our elders have never seen a working fire station, and the good folks at Metro Station 6 were willing to show us around. The captain took us around and showed the elders: the control room, break room (although it was hard to pry the elders away from the comfy couches), sleeping quarters, and locker room. Then the highlight of the visit, the fire engine!!! The elders got to see and hear the engine in action, and then they got put to work. Each got a turn manning the fire hose, and they were all naturals. Suffice it to say I would not hesitate to put any of them on my hotshot crew. The elders then got a chance to try on some of the firefighting gear. We then bid adieu to the crew at Metro Station 6, but not before snapping a few photos.

After returning to class we did a breakdown of what we learned and enjoyed about the trip. The elders seemed to genuinely enjoy learning about firefighting, and know a little bit more about something they probably see every day. This could not have been done without the help of Assistant Fire Marshal Maggie, the wonderful crew of Metro Station 6, and our Nepali interpreter Ram.