Though the Snellville Senior Center is still closed due to COVID-19, the Parks and Recreation Department is finding ways to keep its members healthy in mind, body and spirit.
Parks and Recreation has unveiled new senior programming which keeps seniors safe while they get a chance to interact with friends from the Senior Center and get fresh air and exercise.
An exercise class, led by Jane Moore and Staci Dye, takes place Monday and Thursday mornings, while a walking group meets Wednesday and Fridays. Both activities start at 8:30 a.m. at T.W. Briscoe Park in the parking lot behind the Park Office.
Social distancing guidelines are practiced.
“With the COVID pandemic, one of the hardest hit groups was our Senior Center members as far as interacting with others and being social,” said Parks and Recreation Director Lisa A Platt, CPRP. “Socializing is very important, since many of our members live alone, for them to have the social stimulation. Our programs at the Center - and part of the SPRD philosophy - has always been based on mind, body, spirit. Our goal is to help our members keep all of those parts of their lives healthy. With the Center being closed, with no known opening date at this time, the Parks and Recreation staff knew there had to be some program we could provide and still maintain the CDC/State guidelines.”
Senior Program Supervisor Kathi Gargiulo said staff called the more than 400 members of the Senior Center to inform them about the programs. The response has been overwhelming, she said. “
“We’ve definitely seen an increase from those who weren’t involved in our exercise class before, now wanting to participate in these new outdoor classes,” Gargiulo said. “We’ve even had several people at the park that were just passing by, see our group in action and then asked to join in. Our Center was where our community would come and meet new people and make friends. Everyone has missed coming and seeing their friends on a regular basis. So we are thrilled that this has turned out to be such a successful program. Our staff is continually told by our senior members just how very thankful they are to be getting out again.”
Providing “outside of the box” programming has also brought Senior Center members to Briscoe Park – a place many of them have never been before.
“We have had many make comments like, ‘This has been here for years and I never knew it was right around the corner.’ Many did not even know that the Center was part of the Snellville Parks and Recreation Department because the Center is over by City Hall,” Platt said. “Now many of the members are being exposed to all the great facilities and opportunities that are offered through SPRD at Briscoe Park.”
The new venture has pleased Senior Center members and Parks and Recreation Department staffers alike.
“We are so very pleased to serve our Center members and citizens and to continue to grow and expand the way we think and move forward in executing recreation programming to everyone as we move forward thru these unprecedented times of the pandemic,” Platt said. “We will continue to challenge ourselves to service our community and to stimulate everyone to have a healthy mind, body and spirit.
For more information on the programs and to learn more about the Snellville Senior Center, call 770-985-3580.