KENNEBUNK — Students in the eighth grade at the Middle School of the Kennebunks made community service their focal point Wednesday morning by hosting more than 100 senior citizens to a Thanksgiving meal in the school cafeteria.

Students organized all aspects of the event, including hand-made decorations, placements and menus, centerpieces, autumn-themed cutouts adorning the walls and providing musical entertainment before serving the meal themselves.

“I love it,” said Karla Taylor, 63, seated beside her 13-year-old neighbor, Alex Durrell. “It’s fun to see all the kids.”

The tradition started as a breakfast in 1986 and two years later became a yearly traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy with “our phenomenally scrumptious selection of desserts” to follow, according to the student menu.

“The idea is that our students get to work with another generation and get a different perspective and a different sense of understanding,” said history teacher Paul Bibeau, one of the organizers. “On top of that, we’ve got adults who haven’t been in the schools in a long time. They’re voters, they’re grandparents and they’re getting a different perspective.”