MOONACHIE, N.J. -- District officials launched the new year by closing the summer with a back-to-school barbecue and outdoor movie night featuring the film "Home" at St. Joseph Park last week.
Senior citizens from Little Ferry and Moonachie enjoyed hot dogs, salad and other treats served by student volunteers while other teens played basketball on a clear, cool summer night.
Young children scampered around the park grounds as Mayor Dennis Vaccaro greeted community members and new Schools Supt. Jonathan Ponds met with the incoming students.
Although he's just starting out, the new schools chief said: "I know we have a real close community here.”
Stanley "Mr. K" Kersnowski, an art teacher at the local senior center who has taught K-8 the past four decades, looked on with pride as students sat around tables, shot video or danced to 1960s music played by a deejay.
“Seniors have so much talent but need encouragement,” he said, noting that pairing them up with youngsters at such events keeps the elderly engaged.
At the opposite end of the age spectrum, Recreation Director Phil Facendola, a 43-year veteran, said many of the elementary school youngsters participate in YMCA remedial and educational programs.
Through STEM programs and after-school workshops, they focus on math and science and get help with homework. Many have taken summer trips, as well.
“Now they tell me it is time to retire,” Facendola saidk joking.
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