Discover Teaneck '83: "THEN AND NOW"

Published for The Teaneck Housing Center by The Teaneck News
May 18, 1983

Teaneck As "Sesame Street"

"Teaneck reminds me of Sesame Street...but for big people."

That's how Bob McGrath, who has been on of the hosts on the children's series, feels about living in this town.  when I asked him to explain what he meant, Bob said, "Well, in the studio we work at creating an imaginary street where nobody notices each other's differences; in Teaneck, I live on one."

Bob McGrath of Sesame Street"It's amazing that on our block alone we have families who are of Armenian, Chinese, Dominican Republic, English, Israeli, Jamaican, German, Hungarian, Iranian, Puerto Rican, Italian, afro-American, and Russian Descent.  Outside of the lunch room at the U. N. that's about as different as you can get...and yet, it's not the differences that make it a wonderful block; its the similarities.  It's enjoying the 26 children from three months to 17 years old that we share.  It's peddling excess zucchini in the summer, block parties, house sitting for friends on vacation, and comparing advice on everything from our kids to crab grass.

Bob and his wife Ann feel it's hard to compare Teaneck with most places. "Teaneck deals openly with questions that other towns don't even begin to know how to discuss.  My wife and I came from the country and we were some what reluctant to bring our children up in a town that was close to the city and that might have some of the accompanying problems. Problems do exist and have to be dealt with perhaps more frequently than in some other more rural areas.  The great thing however, is that problems are recognized and dealt with head-on.  We both feel that our children have had a much more stimulating and realistic childhood than either of us."

"We looked for a house in this area 22 years ago, because many musicians lived here and said it was not only very convenient for commuting, but a really nice town.  We were looking for a good school system and we have not been disappointed.  Four children have gone through the system and one is presently in junior high.  They have had different experiences: the new math...central 6th...K-1...the alternative school...open classrooms and combined grades in the same class.  Although some of the project did now work as well as other, we both like the spirit of experimentation that exists.  We like the choices that the schools provide, and hope that the town can afford to continue them and try others as new needs arise."

"Parents and children 'grow-up' together, learning to think about things from different points of view.  We have found that in Teaneck that process is interesting and exciting...for everyone."

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