Over eighty Montville Township senior citizens attended the annual
Senior Luncheon hosted by the Nutrition, Family and Consumer Studies students
of Robert R. Lazar Middle School. The feast, a tradition started by teacher,
Karen Jasterzbski, is a much anticipated annual event.
“I come every year with the Senior Club,” said Tiziano “Nick” Turni (74), of Pine Brook. “Everything is beautiful, and we keep company with other people. It’s social. It’s a beautiful day.”
Inspired by the many contributions senior citizens make to Montville Township, Jasterzbski was looking for a way to say thank you to the community’s older population. As a nutrition teacher, she realized that her students were developing the necessary skills to host a thank you event. Ten years ago, Jasterzbski merged the two ideas. The result is an exciting annual celebration that brings middle school students and senior citizens together.
“This is project based learning at its best,” said Edward Fleischman, Supervisor of the Arts for the Montville Township Public Schools. “It is a highly engaging activity. It’s got everything. These students are putting into practice twenty-first century workplace skills. The event is meaningful for the students and the community.”
Lazar’s TV production classes and music students provided entertainment for this year’s gathering.
Jasterzbski’s students spent the semester budgeting, planning and organizing the event. Then, in the days prior to the luncheon, they prepared food. Lots and lots of food.
“Many of them stayed after school to prepare,” Jasterzbski said of her students.
“Everybody, helps,” she added, thanking all departments within the school, as well as the Parent Teacher Council.
“We couldn’t do it without The Parent Teacher Council.”
Students set and decorated tables before the guests arrived. Once there, the guests were also served by the students.
In addition to the Montville Senior Citizen Club, students were asked to invite local grandparents and other seniors.
“The students are so polite,” said senior citizen Shirley Goodrich of Pine Brook. “They are really helpful.”
April 24 the Robert R. Lazar middle school will also host a Senior Prom. Students and senior citizens will again have an opportunity to socialize against the backdrop of fine food and music.