Bridging the Age Gap on MLK Jr. Day
On January 16 Kids Club kids, teens and volunteers headed a block up the street to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with residents of Branan Towers Senior Living facility. Together we played games, enjoyed a meal and presented the seniors with a memorable gift. The visit was a part of an ongoing and special relationship we have with Branan, aimed at strengthening connections between older and younger generations.
Upon arrival, the youth got acquainted with the seniors living at Branan. In no time at all, playing of such classic games such as checkers, dominoes, chess and Scrabble
began, with many of the seniors either playing or providing strategic tips from the sidelines. Then the young ones began challenging their elders in Wii bowling games. It made for heated competition, as the seniors got the chance to get up, exercise and test out new technology (though a few of the Branan folks were already Wii masters!). Afterward, we all enjoyed a hearty meal and fellowship together.
During our visit, Kids Club member Chase Shakur presented Shirley Garnigan, president of the Branan Towers Residents Association, with “A Seat for Social Change,” a bus seat covered with images from the civil rights movement and social justice leaders of today. The seat was created during a project that our youth engaged in on MLK Day 2009 at the King Center with the Atlanta Chapter of the Americorps Alumni. The seat commemorates the struggle and sacrifices of the Civil Rights movement and the ultimate fruit it bore with the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American President of the United States. Kids Club youth had voted to present
the seat to the seniors of Branan Towers, whose residents, black and white, have a first-hand knowledge and understanding of the civil rights era and leaders that the seat celebrates.
Kids Clubbers and Branan seniors take a break from a chess game to say cheese!
Ultimately, Kids Club enjoyed a fun and fulfilling day of service while connecting with their elders and honoring the past, in remembrance of the courageous work of Dr. King.