It’s a Thursday evening and that means one thing at the Boone County Family Resources Supported Living program – Karaoke Night! Each Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. people gather together in one of the apartments to hang out and sing songs. “Everyone who participates really seems to love Karaoke Night,” says Natasha Grayson, Assistant to the Director of Supported Living. “This year we had an MU Service-Learning student who coordinated the evening’s activities and it just blossomed from there.”
When Dominic Asta’s University of Missouri course schedule required 20 hours of Service-Learning this semester, he decided to reach out to BCFR to see how he could help. “I happen to live near the main office, so I wanted to learn more about what BCFR does,” says Dominic. “This is my first time working with people with disabilities and I’ve learned so much.” Natasha said participants in the Supported Living program had been requesting a Karaoke Night, so this seemed like a good fit for Dominic, too.
“I greet everyone as they show up. I help them pick out songs to sing and spend time talking with them about their day,” says Dominic. “I’ve really gotten to know some of the ‘regulars.’ It’s fun.”
Several people from the five agency-owned apartments come over to participate each Thursday. Dale says his favorite songs to sing are Luke Bryan songs. C.J.’s favorite song to sing is “YMCA” and Robert is pretty much open to singing any songs, but he has a few favorites, too. This particular evening he chose to sing “Happy” by Pharell Williams. With smiles all around, it is easy to tell that everyone was having fun.
“Some people come for the singing and some just want to come and watch the fun,” says Hadyn Baily, Teacher Counselor for the Supported Living program. “It’s a very popular event!”
Dominic says he’s glad that his coursework required him to complete Service-Learning hours. “I feel really good about being a part of this program at Supported Living. It took me outside of my comfort zone. I now have a new understanding and appreciation for people with different abilities.”
The semester wraps up in May and so does Karaoke Night – for now. Robert and Dale said they’re already looking forward to the next time they’ll get together to sing.