Students carol at Autumn Care

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, December 13, 2018

A group of about 20 students took time out of their Saturday to sing Christmas carols for residents at Autumn Care of Suffolk.

The students, dressed in festive red and green outfits, sang a medley of songs including “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

All of the students were participants in the Communities in Schools program at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School. The Autumn Care residents gathered in the cafeteria and tapped their toes, nodded their heads and clapped their hands with the music.

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“I enjoyed caroling, because I like making the seniors feel happy,” said Zariah Dabbs, one of the singing students.

Michael Parham, the music teacher at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School, said he enjoyed the event just as much as the students and the residents.

“I love stuff like this,” he said. “The holidays bring people — family, friends, strangers — together, and music definitely brings people together.”

His students were prepared for the event yet nervous, he said.
“They’re very nervous — they’re nervous, but they’re ready at the same time.”

Elephant’s Fork Principal Jessica Avery attended to hear the carols and support her students.

“I’m trying to get them to see that outside their community, there is so much more,” she said. “I like to see the happiness it brings to them.”

Iris Mathis-Spellman, director of the Communities in Schools program at Elephant’s Fork, said the students asked at the beginning of the year to return after caroling at Autumn Care for the first time last year.

“I’m excited about the fact that they wanted to come and wanted to give back to their community,” Mathis-Spellman said. “That speaks volumes.”

She said the program will try to make the event an annual one.