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Talk/Read/Succeed!

Tree lighting at Robinson Gardens – a tradition is born

Tree lighting at Robinson Gardens – a tradition is born

Families and friends gathered at the Robinson Gardens Apartments to celebrate a new beginning – a holiday tree, complete with lights and garland.

The 15-feet tall spruce made its home in front of the Springfield Housing Authority Central Maintenance Facility at the corner of William Sands Jr. Road and Robert Dyer Circle in the Pine Point neighborhood. The tree will stay through the holidays for the enjoyment of all.

“We wanted to start a tradition that everybody can see and appreciate,” said Robinson Gardens resident Ivette Fernandez.

“We’re going to make this happen every year,” she added.

The tree was a joint effort among residents and SHA staff, most especially Talk/Read/Succeed! Outreach Coordinator Lynne Cimino. While the T/R/S! focus is on family-based literacy, Cimino often finds herself united Robinson Gardens families with fun and interactive programs that support the main goal.

Cimino said the idea for a holiday tree was a good one, popular with all.

“It’s something that will bring the joy of the season and the holiday spirit to our residents, and bring everyone together in a happy way,” Cimino said.

Brothers Jahkellz Murchison-Kelly, 4, Juelz Murchison-Clark, 1, and Jaiviaire Murchison-Foster, 8, are ready tree lighting at Robinson Gardens Apartments.

A total of eight families, including 21 people, gathered for the brief first lighting event, held on a rainy night.

Cimino noted that it was the Robinson Gardens community of gardeners – they have planted and harvested a community garden in recent summers – who banded together for the holiday symbol. Children, in particular, were very enthusiastic.

“We have a tree outside now, with lights,” noted Jaiviaire Foster-Murchison, who is 8 and a student at Dorman Elementary School. “I’m going to look at it every night.”

Families and friends gather for the tree lighting.

Indeed, children did not seem to mind the rain in the slightest, though some were looking upward for signs of snow as the weather chilled in the darkness. With a white covering on the ground, they began to pack snowballs and toss them around.

“This is fun,” shouted one.

The lighting was followed by hot cocoa and cookies in the T/R/S! office at Robinson Gardens.

Cimino said that while this year the tree was purchased and set up, in the spring a permanent evergreen will be planted so that for years to come, the community of  Robinson Gardens can gather for the festivities.

“It’s for the future,” she noted.

 

39 days ago / Talk/Read/Succeed!
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