You’re probably familiar with Senior Planet’s signature three-word slogan “Aging With Attitude.” Three other words you may NOT have associated with Senior Planet until now are “Lights! Camera! Action!”
The groundbreaking technology center’s flagship New York City location was the site of a recent film shoot for a new public service announcement. The PSA, a partnership between OATS (Older Adults Technology Technology Services) and Altice USA, a communications and media company with headquarters in New York City, highlights Senior Planet’s mission of engaging older adults in the use of technology. It features students from a 10-week Senior Planet leadership and technology class called ACTivate, which focuses on civic engagement, one of the Center’s areas of focus.
“Altice had approached Senior Planet and offered to support us in some way,” says Barbara J. Kelly, Director of External Relations at OATS. “At the same time, seniors at the Center knew they wanted to do something that portrayed a positive, realistic image of themselves and the positive aspects of aging. These are very active people who wanted to make sure that everybody knew that.”
“We met several times during the six months following the end of the ACTivate class,” says class participant Jean McCurry. “We developed script ideas as well as storyboards with suggestions. It was wonderful that the Senior Planet staff supported the PSA idea and brought in professionals to develop it and make it happen. I am very pleased to see how it all turned out. It’s a wonderful, and tangible, product of the ACTivate class.”
Kristen Thurber, Director of Community Affairs at Altice, says the partnership with OATS to support its mission of engaging older adults in the use of technology is an exciting one. “Our employees were honored to share their technology and media expertise with the seniors in the ACTivate Class in the creation of a public service announcement empowering older adults to be active and connected,” she says.
The PSA starred some of Senior Planet’s multi-talented members, including Audrey Hilliard, who delivers the announcement’s first line: “We are active.” Audrey says she was honored to be involved. “It was my way of giving back to OATS in helping seniors realize their value in life and how technology can improve their quality of life,” she says.
Henry Soto, a remarkable, self-taught digital artist, member of the ACTivate class, and PSA star whose line is “We are artistic”, began his Senior Planet journey after he learned about the Center from his local library. “They used the word ‘creative’ and I thought, ‘I want to be there.’ So I came in and signed up. I took Wix and learned how to design a website. That gave me an edge to continue.” Of his participation in the PSA, Henry says he felt like a real superstar. “It was all ‘Lights! Camera! Action,” he says, adding that he proudly posted the PSA on his Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin pages.
In addition to being featured on Senior Planet’s YouTube channel and Linkedin and Facebook pages, the PSA aired throughout May and June on the Arts and Entertainment Channel, the Hallmark Channel, HG TV, Destination America, Animal Planet and other stations.
Missed it? Check it out at the Senior Planet YouTube** Channel here.
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Photo: back row, left to right: Senior Planet members Shirley Ann West, Bobby Lee, Jean McCurry, Henry Soto, Founder and Executive Director, OATS/Senior Planet Tom Kamber, Senior Planet members Eileen McGinn, Nancy Lombardi, Darlene Wone, Rita Russo, Marilyn Stolove.
Front row, left to right: David Sepa, Supervisor Producer; Eric Baudo, Supervisor Technical Operations; Anthony D’Angelo, Executive Producer; Craig Wendler, Studio Editor