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Luis Muñoz Marin Students Deliver Valentines to Casa Israel

Students in an afterschool program at the Luis Muñoz Marin School on Broadway in Newark hand-delivered home-made Valentine's Day cards to seniors at Casa Israel Adult Medical Day Care Center.

"We are here to spread love and friendship," said Ozzie Mendoza, program coordinator for ASPIRA, which runs the after-school program at Luis Muñoz Marin School. "This is one of the things that we do to get the kids into the community and create a connection between the younger and older generations."

The clients at Casa Israel were delighted to receive the cards, smiling and conversing with the students who came to visit.

Casa Israel Director Kate Flores said she always welcomes the opportunity to have youngsters interact with seniors.

"Our clients love to interact with young people from our community," Flores said. Studies on older adults show that interaction with young people reduces stress, relieves boredom and improves overall health."

Adrianne Davis, the Co-Founder/Executive Director of The North Ward Center, noted that Casa Israel was deliberately built along side the North Ward Center Child Development Center.

North Ward Center Founder Stephen N. Adubato Sr., who founded Casa Israel in 2001, insisted on co-locating the two facilities.

"We always envisioned our seniors interacting with youngsters from the community," Davis said. "We knew right from the beginning that it would be a benefit. That was the genius of Steve."

Casa Israel is licensed to serve up to 120 clients daily. The facility provides the highest quality care, including primary and preventive health care, as well as therapeutic and recreational services to Medicaid clients and other eligible adults.