Serving ages 18 months through 90 plus years, the Teaneck Recreation Department offered a wide range of activities in 2001 at the Rodda Community Center, school facilities, both inside and outdoors as well as in local parks. Highlights for the year include the ten month popular Toddler Program, Sunshine Gardens under the auspices of our Youth Division. The program successfully completed its second year of providing an extended day from the hours of 9:15 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Two half day sessions are also available from 9:15 A.M. until 11 :45 A.M. and 12:45 P.M. until 3 :00 P.M., all for a nominal fee. The enrollment continues to be strong and the programs demonstrate resounding success reflecting the ethnic diversity of the Teaneck Community. The children were enriched by the incorporation of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and African American cultural information introduced through participation in classroom projects and parental involvement.
The After School program provided care for children ages 5 through 13 from school dismissal until 6:00 P.M. Activities included basketball, table tennis, billiards as well as chess and checker games. The program also provided daily supervised homework periods and special event snacks including monthly birthday parties and Pizza Thursdays.
In the summer, the Department offered two, six week Day Camps for ages 3 through 8 years within the Youth Division which provide a variety of fun experiences, Camp Sunsational Phase I and Phase II. Campers play games, swim at Hawthorne Pool, frolick in the Votee Park sprinklers and are engaged in various arts & crafts projects. Each session provides special event days and trips to local amusement parks. We are proud of the introduction in Summer 2001 of Art History and our Science Workshop's initiation to further enhance the camping experience and boost the educational aspect while having fun.
The following preschool programs continued to be extremely successful: KinderCraft & Toddlekins, both Mommy & Me programs for children 18 to 36 months, Creative Dance and the ever popular Kindergym program. The Teaneck Community Band celebrated its 57th season of free concerts in the Votee Park Band Shell. Evan Cooper, Conductor extrodinaire, provided five exhilarating concerts featuring The Northern Valley Community Choir; Jo Ann Lamolino, Trumpet; Eva Marie Szakal, French Horn; Jung-Wan Kang, Flute and Mark T. Wright, Piano.
The Department celebrated July 4th with the 10th annual community festival in Votee Park. Hundreds of families were in attendance for magic shows, children's comedy show, face painting, tattoo artist, petting zoo, all day Trackless Train rides, Moonwalk, Speed Pitch Baseball, Caterpillar, Balloon Typhoon, Uncle Sam Stilt Walker, pony rides and more. Also on hand were vehicles from "Teaneck's Finest and Bravest", Fire and Police Departments vehicles were available to the community for tours.
The list of local organizations who have embraced the Adopt A Park Project continue to be loyal and steadfast in their support and commitment: The Teaneck Community Charter School - a portion of Votee Park; The Friends of the Hackensack River Greenway - Andreas Park; Friends of Tryon Park - Tryon Park; Girls Scout Troops 40 & 88 - Dr. Barnet S. Bookstaver Park; Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps - Dr. Barnet S. Bookstaver Park; Chopstix - Votee Park; Temple Emeth - Windsor Park; Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County - Phelps Park; Friends of Herrick Park - Herrick Park; Teaneck Jewish Center - Martin Luther King, Jr.; Friends Of Lubavitch of Bergen County - Terhune Park and Teaneck Southern Little League - Hawthorne Park. These community based groups take an active interest in their respective parks providing activities for their groups while promoting neighborhood cohesiveness and pride.
The Teaneck Senior Services Division's programs continued to grow by leaps and bounds. It is truly a trend setter in the field of aging for which we take great pride. The number of registered participants continued to spiral in 200 I to top 2,200 with Teaneck residents dominating. In keeping with our commitment to serve as many Senior residents as possible, while providing quality programming for this ever growing population, the Center added a number of new offerings to facilitate the demand for some of our most popular Fitness classes.
In 2001, our stats reflect steady growth with 750 individuals participating in Fitness classes and 465 in Educational programs. Our commitment to excellence and innovative programming led to the introduction of Yoga and Pump the Prime, a more challenging exercise regime consisting of 30 minutes of aerobic movement as well as strengthening and endurance exercises. Our Men's Fitness program continued to shine brightly as well as our Award Winning Osteoporosis program, the recipient of the Bergen County Department Of Parks "Excellence in Therapeutic Programming Award". These classes are facilitated by an Exercise Physiologist from the Cardiac Rehab Unit of Holy Name Hospital who is certified to teach this specialty course. We are thrilled to have participated, for the first time, in The Fourth Annual Countywide Senior Spelling Bee sponsored by the B. C. Department of Human Services' Division of Senior Services. Teaneck resident and Senior Services Center Participant, Simone Colbert was a runner up in the finals!
Our focus and mission in the Senior Services Division is the promotion of healthy aging through education, socialization, fitness, health promotion and nutrition. To this end, through collaborations with the Teaneck Health Department and Holy Name Hospital, the Senior Services Center provided Health Consultation and Blood Pressure checks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 10:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. serving approximately 250 individual residents.
In addition, a Senior Health & Wellness program was introduced in Fall 2001 as a result of the aforementioned collaboration and funded by the Township. This new program is offered on Fridays between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. facilitated by a variety of Health professionals from Holy Name Hospital, it includes such programs as monthly Podiatry exams, individual appointments with a Nutritionist who is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Brown Bag Medication Review with a Pharmacist, individual appointments with a Social Worker and the "Wellness Works Series" facilitated by a Nurse Practitioner. The focus of this series is to provide individuals with professional guidance and assistance in setting goals aimed at moving toward improved total health. We have only cited a few of the many facets of the Senior Services Division, just enough to wet your appetite and peak your curiosity. We extend an open invitation to the Teaneck Senior Community to attend our Annual Open House held the first Wednesday in December, view our facility, meet the professional staff and witness your tax dollars at work. We are confident that you will be impressed.
For our Disabled and Senior residents, the Department continued to offered much needed transportation services. This free service is in its 8th year of operation. It operates year round with the exception of Municipal Holidays and in the event of inclement weather. We provided over 4,100 trips in 2001. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays we provided rides to medical appointments in Teaneck, Hackensack and Englewood. Weekly trips were provided to Pathmark in Bergenfield on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each Shopper was given a $2.00 shopping coupon, courtesy of the store manager and an agreement negotiated by the Senior Administrator at the inception of the program. Township Drivers carried bags to the door of each shopper as a part of this service. Shoppers were asked to limit the numbers of bags to 4 per individual. Trips to the Bergen Mall were offered in the months that had a fifth Wednesday or Thursday.
The Recreation Department Administrative office handles the registration for Youth & Adult program activities including Sunshine Gardens, After-School program, Adult Exercise programs, Toddlekins, Kindergym, Kindercraft, Arts & Crafts, Dance programs, Tennis Lessons, Junior Bowling and Kidsafe Self Defense Karate. This office also handles all picnic and field permits as well as room and facility rentals. During Spring, we provide the registration applications for our most popular programs which are really the high- light of the Summer Season, our Day Camps; Camp Sunsational Phase I & Phase II (ages 3 thru 3rd grade) and our Award Winning Sports & Arts Program (grades 4th thru 9th). In 2001, we sold a tremendous number of Swim Badges & Swim Tags totaling 3,594.
The Recreation Department also provided the opportunity for residents to purchase discounted tickets for various amusement parks like Sesame Place, Hershey Park, Six Flags Great Adventure, Morey's Pier, Dorney Park & Wild Kingdom. This convenient service was available to residents through our collaboration with the New Jersey Recreation and Park Association. The response by the community was overwhelming with Ticket Sales in excess of $35,000.
The Recreation Department celebrated a banner year with local resident Wallace E. Cowan, Chairman of Parks, Playground & Recreation Advisory Board, being the recipient of The Bergen County Parks Department's Volunteer Service Award. He epitomizes the very best in volunteerism. His work on behalf of our community for the past 20 years through restoration, conservation and educational initiatives has and will continue to positively impact our community and environment for future generations. In addition, the Richard Rodda Community Center did not go unnoticed, we too were the proud recipients of the "Excellence For Design Award", an award our entire community can bask in.
To conclude, The Rodda Center continues to be headquarters for First Night, a Township-wide celebration on New Year's Eve sponsored by the Teaneck Cultural Arts Coalition. Thousands of residents attended this multicultural, intergenerational, non-alcoholic celebration. This annual gala, which provides activities and entertainment for all ages, featured parades, a Five Star Dance Troupe, African American Art Exhibits, crafts projects for kids, food, and a Community Cabaret to name a few. Suffice to say, great fun was had by all in a safe, secure, open and inviting environment. The gaiety filled all 50,000 sq. ft. of our facility with exuberance and a true sense of community.