Songs for seniors

Second-grade students from Dunkirk School 3 came merrily singing to St. Vincent’s Home in Dunkirk Thursday afternoon and were rewarded by a special visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer, Dancer.

Teachers Nancy Ringler and Tammy Notarnicola joined their classes in singing such holiday favorites as Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snow Man, Silent Night and more, for the residents.

After the caroling, the children gleefully handed out their homemade decorations to all the residents before meeting with Santa and Dancer.

Santa asked each student what they wanted for Christmas and handed each of them a candy cane for singing so beautifully for all to hear.

St. Vincent’s Administrator Deborah Smith said this is the “best one we have had” when asked about how the Christmas caroling had gone this year.

“This is the first time Santa Claus has come when the kids are here,” Smith said. “We are always happy to have the kids here. We love the kids and love the music program.”

Ringler said she has coordinated with Notarnicola the past few years and has always enjoyed coming to St. Vincent’s.

“We are teaching the kids about caring and compassion,” Ringler explained. “We want to show them that Christmas isn’t just about the presents under the tree, but about bringing happiness to others.”

Notarnicola said she has been reading the book, “The Sunshine Home” to both her class and Ringler’s. It is a story about a little boy whose grandmother is in a nursing home and he doesn’t know how to handle it.

“It is my favorite part of the year,” Notarnicola said. “It is wonderful to teach the kids about caring about their community.”

“I am a big believer in teaching children that what you give to others is what really matters,” Ringler said. “I tell my kids to watch for the smile on their faces and the happiness you give them is what makes this all worth while.”

Ringler said she will have her class discuss what they learned and what was their favorite part of caroling at St. Vincent’s.

“It is so heart-warming,” Ringler said. “It makes the whole season.”

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