The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Arts for Generations Club aims to bring happiness to senior citizens and to create a safe space for Harrisites

As+the+school+year+comes+to+a+close+members+of+the+Arts+For+Generations+club+speak+to+the+purpose+of+their+club+and+their+upcoming+plans.
Ashley Zeng
As the school year comes to a close members of the Arts For Generations club speak to the purpose of their club and their upcoming plans.
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With many activities and extracurriculars available to Harrisites at Townsend Harris, more and more niche clubs are created each year. The Arts for Generations Club, which aims to bring happiness to senior citizens through the use of art, provides a supportive environment for new members and allows Harrisites to assist the elderly community members. The club recently held some of their last events for the school year and chose new board members who will be leading the club next year. The Classic interviewed members of the club, board, and incoming board members to reflect on their experiences within the club. 

Co-President Junior Alisa Avduli said, “So far, [the club] has been able to do many events such as care-box making, card-making activities, and Valentine’s flowers, along with our nursing home visits for both the winter and spring. These events were important for us as we [were able] to reach out to seniors, bond with them, and have genuine conversations. These events also drew in new members who previously had not heard about the club.” 

Although the club was stunted during the pandemic due to the lack of in-person events, they managed to create virtual opportunities to connect with the elderly community. Many of their events provide community service hours for Harrisites as well, allowing students to reach the requirements they need to graduate or to aim higher towards different honor societies. Aside from these benefits, the club offers much more than hours, including life-long memories, a sense of accomplishment, and an improved community. 

Co-President Senior Vivian Du said, “The club is something that I look forward to every week we meet. I think it gives very positive vibes and it allows me to do something I love (art), while also bringing a smile to the seniors who receive our cards and artwords. I think being able to directly communicate with the nursing homes this year also allowed me to understand the senior community more as a whole.” 

Alisa said, “Harrisites should join the club to build connections with elders who may otherwise feel isolated and ostracized by society. Performing for and speaking to a senior could be the spark of joy they’ve been lacking in their life, and providing that is such an impactful experience for everyone involved. 

Freshman Amy Huynh, a member of the club, said, “I enjoy the club because it’s relaxing and we have many opportunities to make a difference in our community since we donate to nursing homes. Many clubs don’t do what Arts for Generations does, making our initiative very unique compared to other activities at Townsend.”

Freshman Valeria Escamilla, another member of the club, said, “You don’t need to be good at art to join this club, which makes it very inclusive. For some of our events, we have made cards that don’t look the best, but we can still build community and gain the opportunity to get in our hours through these experiences.” 

In order to continue giving back to the world, the Arts for Generations club has expanded its board members. Many of these incoming members have new plans for the club that can help more Harrisites become interested and involved in their mission of building a greater sense of community with the senior citizens at nursing homes.  

Junior Kayla Lin, who will be the next Co-President in the 2024-2025 school year said, “I hope that we can reach out to more seniors around Queens or even areas beyond Queens so that we can host more events where our members can interact with the community. After hosting one of our music events and seeing the faces of seniors light up and the support they give us, I believe it’s a good thing that we’re giving them the stimulation they need, but also it helps student players gain the confidence they need to continue playing.” 

Sophomore Sabrina Epstein, who will be the next Public Relations Manager in the 2024-2025 school year said, “I hope that next year, more people can join the club so that our events can become larger and we can grow more support for different people in the community. I also hope to fuel a passion for art within students.” 

Vivian said, “This year was successful and we managed to get some big events going. In the future, I’m hoping to see the new board expand on the events we already have, such as  creating more care packages for seniors, and also introduce new events of their own. I think it’ll be really nice if the new board is able to do some more arts and crafts events, since we focused on restarting in-person visits to nursing homes this year.” 

Many members of the club also expressed how important the club is, especially for themselves and others that may want to join in the next coming years. 

Alisa said, “The club is really special to me because not only do I love playing music with others, but seeing the smiles on the faces of the seniors brings a sense of fulfillment to me. Connecting with them has helped me reflect on things I can do to support elders in my family to ensure they aren’t lonely and that they feel respected.” 

Kayla said, “I have never felt a connection with my grandparents and I really like that there is a club that is willing to provide that connection for me. You could even say that this is like a “found family” that people can make. AFG is especially important for seniors since it helps combat senior loneliness, and adds a new perspective for them to see what the youth are doing. Many of the seniors vividly remember our performances, so it shows that we have already made an impact and will only continue to do so.”

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About the Contributors
Shamonti Shamim
Shamonti Shamim, A&E Student Profile Manager
Shamonti is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys drawing, binging Netflix shows (Alice in Borderland is her favorite), and visiting cityscapes. She enjoys writing for the Classic A&E Department and hopes to continue working with them.
Ashley Zeng
Ashley Zeng, Photography Staff Member
Ashley is a freshman at Townsend Harris High School and a staff photographer for The Classic.
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