Submitted by Simsbury Public Schools
In October 2010, the Town of Simsbury and the Board of Education collaborated on a project that would connect senior citizens to the schools. This fall, the initiative is still going strong with the VIP Passes program, which allows Simsbury residents age 65 and older to attend a wide variety of school events—sporting events, art exhibits, concerts, and theater productions—free of charge. And with the hiring of a new Athletic Director at the high school, Dane Street, a lunch at Eno Memorial Hall on September 12th was a perfect time to get to know each other.
SHS Principal Neil Sullivan accompanied Street to Eno, joking with the crowd that during an extensive search process for a new Athletic Director, it was often said that “hosting a LOT of senior citizen dinners is a requirement of the job.”
Street is ready to assume the role of gracious host along with the many other duties associated with being the largest athletics program in Connecticut and the second largest in New England. He fielded a variety of questions from the lunch-goers, including whether or not the coaches are also teachers. He also addressed the transportation concerns of several people who expressed frustration that many school events take place in the evening, which makes it problematic for them to attend. Board of Selectmen member and BOE Liaison Lisa Heavner helped reassure folks that the BOS has already met about the issue and are exploring the options.
This kind of open dialogue fits right in with Street’s goals for the Athletics Department. In his opening remarks, he stated, “We want to improve communications as much as possible.” He added, “The Athletics Department will make every effort to ensure that the website has the most up-to-date information.”
The next opportunity for senior citizens to attend a pizza dinner and athletic event is Friday, October 5th, starting at 5:30 for dinner, with a football game versus Windsor at 7:00PM. Call 860-658-3273 by October 1 for reservations. VIP Passes can be obtained at either the Board of Education Offices in Town Hall, or at the Senior Center at Eno Memorial Hall. An application can also be downloaded from the Simsbury Public Schools website at www.simsbury.k12.ct.us (under “Community Connection”).