The Ninilchik Senior Center was full of holiday cheer on Tuesday afternoon thanks to a group of students from Ninilchik School, with some help from the snow falling outside and the garland strung throughout the center.
A group of seven students from Ninilchik School braved the snow to visit the senior center and sing Christmas carols. The group of girls included Tala Hadro, Olivia Delgado, Fiona Denboer, Isabella Koch, Rachael Okonek, Caitlin Painter and Hailey Radford, who each elected to be a part of the school’s choir even through the formal program was cut due to dropping enrollment at the school.
“The last 10 years, we’ve had a traditional music program at Ninilchik but with declining enrollment there’s no more elementary or middle school music,” said Eric Simondsen, a teacher at Ninilchik School and the leader of the choir group. “This group of kiddos said, ‘Well, we still want to have choir.’ So, we’re doing that during our academic support time.”
The choir group is completely voluntary and students receive no academic credit for their participation. The students meet with Simondsen during a free period that’s dedicated for extra help or activities during the day.