Intergenerational Holiday Fun


During JASA Starrett Senior Center’s annual winter holiday party, members were treated with a guest appearance by the students from the Starrett City Early Learning Center (ELC). — December 18

The intergenerational event took place in the lower level of the Brooklyn Sports Club, where JASA’s Chorus and the students of ELC celebrated Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

Dressed as Santa’s helpers, snowmen, dreidels and Kwanzaa candles, each class from the ELC, ages 2-5, danced, sang and recited catchy poems. “Everyone loved it! I think many of the seniors looked at the children as if they were their own grandchildren,” said Anjelika Sulayananov, JASA’s Group Case Worker. She says many of the seniors in attendance were awed by the youngsters’ well-mannered behavior and their intricate song and dance routines.

After the students finished their presentation they sat cross-legged on the floor and listened intently to longtime JASA member, Rita Taylor, who told them “You have entertained me, and now it is my turn to entertain you.” She then wistfully sang Cinderella’s “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.”

ELC Director Susan Plesnitzer was so impressed by Ms. Taylor’s performance she asked her to visit the ELC, in the coming months, to give the students vocal coaching tips.

The lively affair concluded with Lila Gilleece reading, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore, she then asked the children “So who is St. Nicholas?” The group responded, “Santa,” which was followed by Vincent Blazewicz and Rosmarie Violette dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Clause, respectively. The students stared wide-eyed with mouths agape as Santa walked into the room with a huge red sack filled with presents slung over his shoulder.

Plesnitzer plans on conducting more activities with the ELC students and seniors. She believes such programs allow the children to share and learn from their elders.