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Arlington kids brighten holidays for seniors

From left, Alphabet Corner Childcare and Preschool children Trent Nobach, Aubrey Roberts, Preslee Nobach, Kennedy Dale, Taylor Bayley, Savannah Roberts, Jake Kummelman, Sophia Redelk and Rachel Giecek perform Christmas carols at the Olympic Place Retirement Community on Dec. 23. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Alphabet Corner Childcare and Preschool children Trent Nobach, Aubrey Roberts, Preslee Nobach, Kennedy Dale, Taylor Bayley, Savannah Roberts, Jake Kummelman, Sophia Redelk and Rachel Giecek perform Christmas carols at the Olympic Place Retirement Community on Dec. 23.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — For the second year in a row, the children of the Alphabet Corner Childcare and Preschool came together to help make the holidays a bit brighter for the residents of the Olympic Place Retirement Community on Dec. 23.

Although 28 children are enrolled in the program, a number of them caught the same cold and half a dozen of them became too shy to perform, nearly a dozen children still showed up that evening to perform spirited renditions of familiar Christmas carols. The kids then took the time to give cookies and candy to the seniors, who accepted them with smiles.

“We’ve volunteered to help out here during other times of the year,” said Amy Turek of Alphabet Corner. “The kids have done crafts with the seniors in the past. We try to teach the kids that giving isn’t always a monetary thing. You can give of your time, you can give the gift of singing to the seniors, and you can give them candy and cookies. The kids and the seniors have responded to each other really well.”

Pam Giecek and Roxann Veach both stopped by Olympic Place that night to watch their granddaughter, Rachel Giecek, perform as part of the choir.

“They all did such a cute job,” Pam Giecek said. “I loved their loud singing and Rachel’s jumping, and what a privilege it was for them to sing here.”

“Watching the seniors interact with these kids has been a blessing for all the generations involved,” Veach said.

Olympic Place resident Stella Halmo complimented the children on being “so well-behaved,” while Olympic Place caregiver Beth Capoun agreed with Halmo that they all appeared to be having fun.

“They were very kind, and they brought a great energy and lightness,” Capoun said. “Stella and I were both reminded of the fond times we’d had with our own children when they were that small. It seems like just yesterday that they were as little as these kids are now.”

Dick Post, the former Arlington School District superintendent for whom Post Middle School was named, had seen the children perform at Olympic Place last year, but this was his first year watching them as an Olympic Place resident himself.

“I’ve always enjoyed the enthusiasm of little children,” said Post, a friend of the family of choir member Kennedy Dale. “I always appreciate seeing them.”

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