Party Gives A Head Start To Holiday Season

Vivian Evanchik received a card from the children. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  BERKELEY – The Silver Ridge Park West clubhouse was decked out in red and green as once again seniors through a party for a local Head Start program.

  Theresa Guiazdowski, teaching and educational supervisor for the Head Start program, said that there were about 30 kids, ages 3-5. Many of them were in their holiday outfits. They had been excited to come to the event after Miss Vivian had been visiting for a while and reading stories to them.

  “Miss Vivian” is Vivian Evanchik, who has been organizing this party for a number of years. She arranges for the kids to come, eat lunch and dessert.

Santa Claus met with each child. (Photo courtesy Head Start)

  Those kids went through a half dozen pizzas before the entertainment kicked into high gear. Devin Mullen, a music instructor, had the kids in the palm of her hand. She kept them focused on singing Christmas songs.

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  The “non-children” in attendance were also singing along. They had lyric sheets for “Frosty the Snowman” and other tunes. The seniors were local residents who just wanted to be part of the afternoon, and help make the party a bit brighter. Some of them were excited about singing the “bumpity bump bump” part of “Frosty.”

  The singing portion came to an end with “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” because, of course he was. “Who do you think might be coming?” a teacher was heard asking one of the kids. They eyed the wall of presents surrounding a big chair and started to wonder.

The children loved their gifts. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

  Sure enough, Santa made his appearance. The kids took turns meeting him. They could sit on his lap if they wanted, for a photo. Then, they each got bags of presents that had been donated and collected from the community. It was part of the magic to get a bunch of kids who just had cake to listen and not open their presents right away. They waited patiently, mostly. Inside were stuffed animals, toys, school supplies, and everything that a little kid could want.

Photo by Chris Lundy