Bright Lights Brief

St. Mark's Children and Family Commission sponsors a program called "Bright Lights" to teach our children about helping others.  The purpose of the Bright Lights program is threefold:

  1. Provide children with a chance to learn about helping others by actually doing it
  2. Provide joy – or a “bright light” – for seniors in nursing homes
  3. Give children an appreciation and respect for seniors

Parents are encouraged to participate with their children and many whole families participate.

How It Works

The Bright Lights program goes to a nursing home with a group of children and parents Sept-May.  The content includes:  Audience: The target age for the program is 4-12, but any child, toddler, or teen interested is welcome to participate. We currently have kids as young as 18 months and as old as 12 participating. All children under the age of six must be accompanied by an adult

Contact Gail Grant  (650) 380-6679 to sign up or for more info.

2019-2020 Session Dates

The program meets twice a month from September through May. The first session of the month is the prep session from 3:30 to 5pm at St. Mark's and the second session runs from 3:30 to 4:30 at Palo Alto Nursing Center at 911 Bryant Street.

We generally meet the first two Fridays of the month, except where that conflicts with PAUSD holidays.

** means sessions for that month are not 1st & 2nd Fridays

Program Details

The first session each month is for preparation/practice and the second session is the trip to the nursing home. Both sessions start with a snack for the kids. Sessions are usually held on the first and second Friday of the month, Sept. through May, PAUSD vacations permitting. Where the Friday conflicts with vacation days, adjustments are made. There is no charge for the program but each family is asked to bring snacks 1-2 times a year and donations to help defray the cost of craft supplies are welcome.

PREP SESSION:  First Friday, 3:30-5:00pm

Before going to the Nursing Home, we need to prepare for the program we will be presenting to the seniors. We gather, snack, make crafts and learn songs. The songs are a mixture of secular and sacred, with many "oldies" that are familiar to the nursing home residents. The session ends with a dry run of the program. Kids are offered the opportunity to announce songs and sing solos, if they want to do so. If the group is small, we all sing and craft together.

TRIP DETAILS:  Second Friday, 3:30-4:15pm

We meet at the nursing home. After a snack, we sing and pass out crafts to the residents. We then go to the rooms and pass out crafts to those unable to leave their beds. The children wear costumes (provided in most cases) to match the theme and the kids announce the songs themselves. At the end, each child receives a thank-you gift for their participation.


Bright Lights Home Page