Local students have lunch with native elders

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska Students from Pearl Creek Elementary had lunch with elders from the Fairbanks Native Association this afternoon.

Students from Pearl Creek Elementary had lunch with elders from the Fairbanks Native Association this afternoon. (Jesse Hansel/ FNSB School District)

Jesse Hensel has been taking his class to meet monthly for lunches and activities with the Fairbanks Native Association of Elders since 2015. He started the event as a way to help kids and elders interact on a more personal level.

They eat lunch and go to events with the elders where they are able to talk and listen to stories from the elders. Hensel said that the events help kids learn to respect elders, and also gives them and grandparent like figure even though many of them don't have one in Alaska.

Steve Kakaruk, one of the elders with the program, says the lunches help the elders as well.

"There is exposure in the community with the youth where the elders can share their ideas and their experiences with the kids, as well with the kids, so they can learn the ideas that goes with the native community."