Volume 75, Number 15 | Aug. 31 - Sep 06, 2005

Back to School

Chinese Planning Council student Anna Kung, of Chinatown, enjoyed a music therapy program with Po To Chan, also of Chinatown, a resident of Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Teens volunteer and cheer seniors

An enthusiastic and articulate team of bilingual Chinese-American teens made summer much brighter for Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation residents, especially those of Chinese descent. The young people in the Chinese Planning Council’s New York City Summer Youth Employment program devoted seven weeks of their school vacation time to assisting residents of the nonprofit, 240-bed, skilled nursing facility at 542 E. Fifth St.

The students’ ability and eagerness to converse in Chinese with the many nursing home residents who speak that language, made them especially welcome, but they were a big hit with the home’s entire population, as well, according to Director of Volunteers Ellen Stein. The upbeat high schoolers from Chinatown and Brooklyn happily pitched in wherever needed, from playing endless games of mah jong or chess and translating in therapeutic games to pitching in with adaptive sports and transporting residents to religious services. They also wrote an original skit based on “The Three Little Pigs,” which they performed for the residents in both Chinese and English.

“I saw many more smiles, as well as more individuals venturing into new activities, because of the students,” said Recreation Director Jeana Musacchio.

Participants included Anna Kung, Connie Lai, Carmen Lau, Sophia Ma, Ming Xiao and Emily Shan.

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