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Bedford Retiree Enjoys Volunteering At Pleasantville's Burns Film Center

Barbara Saravay is a volunteer at the Jacob Burns.
Barbara Saravay is a volunteer at the Jacob Burns. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jacob Burns Film Center

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- For two years, Bedford resident Barbara Saravay has been having the time of her life volunteering at the Jacob Burns Film Center .

Saravay has been involved with the Burns' See Hear Feel Film program, which allows her to work with children and help introduce them to film and improve their writing skills. Saravay said she found the Burns after retiring and looking for something to do.

"I saw they were looking for volunteers and I decided this is what I wanted to do," Saravay said. "The program met the needs and time frame I had. I wanted to work with children."

In the See Hear Feel Film program, kids work together and do different activities based on what they've seen.

"They do a poem or a story," Saravay said. "It gives them the opportunity to write and to express themselves. It gives me a great deal of joy."

Kids may watch a cartoon about a dog sitting in the backyard and then each person puts a word into a sentence about a dog sitting in the backyard. Soon, a dog sitting in the backyard becomes the beautiful black dog sat in the great big garden playing with his bone in the backyard.

"They feel good about themselves," Saravay said. "They feel like they accomplished something."

After the kids leave the Burns, they go back to their classrooms, where the teachers continue to work with them. Saravay said she finds volunteering to be extremely rewarding.

"The place itself is very warm," she said. "The environment is accepting and the people are very caring. It's a joyful thing to do and for me particularly it's a very magical experience and a very rewarding one."

Saravay said she hopes to do more activities at the Burns that involve working with children.

"It's just glorious and wonderful," she added.. "It's very fulfilling to be a part of it."

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