‘Gimme! Gimmie! Gimmie!’ a senior prom at Atria


Seniors at the Atria Tanglewood assisted living facility in Lynbrook were grooving to disco music, as they became high schoolers again, celebrating prom.

Malverne High School joined forces with Atria to transform the living facility into a dance party on May 22. The theme, which was disco, took the center back in time to the 70s. The high school’s Key Club, which has been a partner of Atria for years, worked with staff at the living center to create this lively event.

“Robin Calcagno, the teacher of the Key Club, and I scheduled at the beginning of the year for the Key Club to be involved in programs once a month at the residence,” Julianne Bertini, engage life director at Atria Tanglewood, said.

Bertini explained that the seniors at Atria love to take part in craft, ping pong, jeopardy, and more activities with the Malverne students. About two to three months before the prom, the students visited the Atria and had presentations on different prom themes at the end of the year celebration, which was dubbed the ‘Senior’ Senior Prom.

“So this year, they picked the 1970s disco theme and in past years, we’ve done 1920s and we were teetering on 1950s, but we planned it so that it would be like a gimme, gimme, gimme Abba disco party,” Bertini said.

Bertini said that the high school senior made mocktails, brought snacks and desserts. Bertini decorated the Media Room in the facility and gave out accessories like disco ball necklaces, 70s glasses, headbands, and glow sticks.

“We aimed to make it as fun as possible,” Bertini said. “My residents love to dance and love to be active.”

Bertini explained that events like these are really important for the high school seniors because she noted that a lot of them were able to get out of their shell over the past couple of months. She said that some of them start off shy in the beginning, but then she saw them progress to the point where they bond with the residents.

“I think it’s important for them to know the population that has come before them,” Bertini said. “They understand that they’re just me and you just with age and I watched the seniors get more comfortable with them throughout the year.”

Atria plans on continuing their long relationship with the Key Club into the next school year.