Bridging the age gap

Arlo Deegon, 5, sings and dances Monday at Laramie Care Center in preparation for the Open School’s Peppermint Parade performance Dec. 12.

CAMERON WALKER/Boomerang staff

Students at the Laramie Open School, ranging from ages 3-5, gave the residents of Laramie Care Center a sneak peak of some of the songs they will be singing at the Peppermint Parade, school’s holiday show on Dec. 12, Open School Director Shelly McFate said.

“Every year, we do the Peppermint Parade, which is our holiday musical (show),” McFate said. “Normally, we would go out somewhere in the community before our program to practice and brighten some days.”

The Peppermint Parade is a big deal for the school and starts preparing the students for the performance in October, she said.

“Right after school starts we start peppermint parading and it is a lot of work to get them going,” McFate said. “They are excited for next week to perform for their families, it is a big deal at the school.”

Laramie Care Center activities director Naomi Kimble said the center’s occupants were excited to have the students come and celebrate the holidays with them. She said she saw several of the residents singing and dancing along with the students.

“Everybody loves kids, and just to see them sing and dance. Not only is it good for their soul, it adds a new face, somebody to see,” Kimble said. “It is nice to see the generation gap and just to see them close that. There is no you’re young and I’m old when they come together with music.”

Ava Crump, 5, said she enjoyed performing at the care center. She and the rest of her class are excited to perform for the show after several weeks of preparing for the performance.

“My favorite song was the kazoo one,” Ava said. “We worked on those songs for a while.”

After their performance, the students gave gift bags to the audience filled with items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo along with candy to thank the residents for attending their show, McFate said.

“This year we also gathered some personal care items (such as) toothbrushes, shampoo and all kinds of things the kids have been gathering to donate,” she said. “The families really support it and we had one family that wrapped all those little gifts up and made sure every resident had one.”

Kimble said the residents appreciate receiving different kinds of hygiene products like the students gave them because it is a different option than what they are normally provided with.

“We provide those products in the facility, but it is just generic stuff and has no smell,” Kimble said. “You don’t think of how much you lose when you move into a place like this, you don’t get to choose your shampoos and it is just what we have.”

The Peppermint Parade starts at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Laramie Plains Civic Center’s Gryphon Theatre, 710 Garfield St.

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