The School No. 4 K-Kids organization hosted about 50 senior citizens from the nearby Ann Ferguson Towers for the 11th annual Heart Tea Breakfast, a Valentine’s-themed celebration that helps bring the generations closer together.
By Gary Miller
School No. 4 hosted a Valentine’s-themed breakfast on Feb. 13 for residents of the senior citizen apartments across the street from the school.
The 11th annual “Heart Tea Breakfast” was presented by the school’s K-Kids, a student service organization sponsored by the Linden Kiwanis Club. The students put on a presentation of Valentine’s Day acrostic poems and sang “I Can’t Help Myself” and “It’s Always Been You.” After the performance, they helped serve and joined about 50 residents of the Ann Ferguson Towers for a breakfast of French toast, eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns, as well as coffee and juice.
“This is a great community event,” said School No. 4 Principal Anthony Cataline. “It’s a chance for us to say thank you to the community and the businesses that support us, and gives them an opportunity to come out and see the fine work that’s done at School 4.”
Cataline credited K-Kids adviser Danielle Piscino for putting together the breakfast, as well as Vice Principal Suzanne Olivero and school social worker Jennifer D’Alessio for helping host and serve.
Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi said the breakfast is a great way for students to serve their hometown.
“An event like this just strengthens the already strong bond between Linden Public Schools and the community as a whole,” he said. “The students get to meet and talk with neighbors they might not otherwise get to know, while learning valuable lessons about being a good citizen. And their visitors get to see some of the wonderful children we have in our district. Everyone really enjoys getting together.”
Cataline said the breakfast highlighted just a few of the positives of the school for the community.
“I think the residents are impressed by the fact that our children are so helpful — helping them get their food, and asking, ‘Would you like another drink?’ ” he said. “They see the good side of today’s youth. They’re going to be our ambassadors and say, ‘I was at School 4 and they have wonderful kids and wonderful programs. They were so helpful and personable.’ ”
Cataline said the children also reap lasting benefits from playing host.
“The members of the K-Kids who have participated in this event will never forget it,” he said. “Being part of the School 4 K-Kids will be part of their school memories forever. They’ll remember events like this. It gives them a chance to reflect back on what citizenship is.”
Also joining the students and residents for breakfast were members of the Linden Housing Authority, Kiwanis Club and representatives of business sponsors, including Infineum, ConocoPhillips and Northfield Bank.