CASE STUDY: Partnering with a Senior Center

Photo credit: Herb Scher
Photo credit: Herb Scher

Building on an established partnership between Service to the Aging of the Brooklyn Public Library and the Narrows Senior Center, a creative aging program was proposed to take place at the nearby senior center.

Poetry Inside Out was developed out of a collaboration between the teaching artist, Service to the Aging, and the senior center, by request of the older adults attending the Narrows Senior Center.

Poetry Inside Out fostered participants’ imagination and provided critical thinking and literacy skills through the translation and composition of poetry. By learning the necessary skills to translate poetic compositions from their own native languages into English, participants acquired a deeper understanding of cultural traditions while gaining a genuine appreciation of language and culture.

Also, participants had the opportunity to engage in a spirited debate about word choices while creating their own diverse, playful, and deeply felt poems.

Participants invited family and friends to a culminating event, where they shared poetic selections and other literary works developed at the workshop.

A literary arts workshop consisting of eight, two-hour sessions. After the final workshop, a culminating event was held.

March – April 2012


Brooklyn Public Library

Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation. Their mission is to improve the health care and overall quality of life for the elderly of New York City. Through a competitive application process, the Narrows Senior Center was selected to receive funding.

Service to the Aging of the Brooklyn Public Library
Narrows Senior Center

(CALL LUZ- She’s on vacation until 4/8/13)

This creative aging program showcased an exemplar curriculum design that was culturally diverse and multi-lingual.

The [creative aging] program lead by [the teaching artist] was unique, engaging and fun filled experience for all the participants. It allowed many of our seniors to gain confidence and explore their creative sides. … The seniors are still reminiscing about their experience and ask to bring the program back… Thank you very much for doing such  an exceptional job with enriching the cultural experience of our seniors.

— Case Manager at the Narrows Senior Center