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Multi-Generational Mingling at McKenna Senior Center

Massapequa students and senior citizens came together for a few hours of fun, fitness and feasting on Feb. 26. Fourteen members of the Helping Hands club at Massapequa High School’s Ames Campus visited the senior center, located at McKenna Elementary School, for intergenerational bonding.

The senior center is open on Mondays and Wednesdays, drawing 40 to 60 visitors on an average day, according to director Jo Ann Lagos. She said that the ninth graders experienced a typical day there, joining the seniors for arts and crafts, crocheting and knitting, games, an exercise session and lunch.

Ames students joined seniors for the weekly FLexercise program which aims to improve balance, energy levels, posture and strength through coordinated movements. They also learned how to play a social dice game by participating in a Bunco tournament, and also took part in a bowling competition on the Nintendo Wii video game system.

Helping Hands advisers Alyssa Levine and Nicole Reiss said this was the first time the club has visited the senior center, but hope to make this at least an annual event. They said that it gives the students a chance to interact with older members of the community who have great experiences and stories to share.

“It is beneficial for both our students and for the seniors,” Ms. Reiss said. “It's a very nice program that they have here and the students had the best time.”

Ms. Lagos added that the students from the district often visit the senior center, including from the high school’s work study program. In December, student-musicians from Berner Middle School performed holiday music.