Children enrolled in Green Garden Child Development Center go caroling down Palmer Street in Madison Heights Dec. 15. Another group went caroling on Bernhard Avenue in Hazel Park.

Children enrolled in Green Garden Child Development Center go caroling down Palmer Street in Madison Heights Dec. 15. Another group went caroling on Bernhard Avenue in Hazel Park.

Photo by Sean Work


Local children go caroling in Madison Heights, Hazel Park

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published January 1, 2018

 In all, more than 30 kids participated in the event. Green Garden has campuses in both cities. The goal was to bring holiday cheer to residents.

In all, more than 30 kids participated in the event. Green Garden has campuses in both cities. The goal was to bring holiday cheer to residents.

Photo by Sean Work

MADISON HEIGHTS/HAZEL PARK — More than 30 children from the Madison Heights and Hazel Park campuses of Green Garden Child Development Center went caroling with their families and adult staff on Dec. 15, bringing holiday cheer to neighbors in both cities. 

“The night was pure magic as snow fell from the sky. It felt like a real Christmas wonderland as the children stopped at each house, jumping in the piles of snow and making snow angels,” said Erica Bateman-Tank, founder and executive director of Green Garden. “The caroling was amazing, but the neighbors seemed to favor watching the children laugh and play in the snow.” 

Green Garden’s Madison Heights campus, open since July 2012, is located at 380 W. 11 Mile Road. Students from there went caroling down Palmer Street. The Hazel Park campus, meanwhile, is at 21135 John R Road. Students from there caroled to residents of Bernhard Avenue.  

Each campus serves children from birth to 5 years on a regular basis. They also serve school-age children on occasion. 

Bateman-Tank said “building strong relationships” with the community is part of the development of the children at the center.

“One of our goals at Green Garden is to create experiences for our students to learn how they can leave our world a better place by showing love, kindness and compassion to those around us,” she said.

The caroling could be seen as an example of this. The goal was to bring unexpected joy to residents in each community. They sang classic songs such as “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” as well as “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” The children had practiced for weeks in advance. 

“During the week leading up to our caroling event, our children made cookies and cards to pass out to the neighbors. They boasted with pride as they gave out their handmade cookies to thankful neighbors,” Bateman-Tank said. “The night was so much more than just spreading Christmas cheer with our songs. It was a chance to show the children how a simple act of kindness can really brighten someone’s day.” 

The parents who accompanied the kids seemed to enjoy themselves just as much.

“I don’t know who had more fun — the kids sharing goodies with the neighbors and jumping in the snow, or the adults getting to view the holiday season through toddler eyes,” said Sarah Lutz, mother to Ben, age 2 1/2, and Katie, age 1 1/2. “Count us in again next year.” 

“Nia is still raving about all the Christmas caroling fun,” said Danielle Smith of her 2-year-old daughter. “We can’t wait to do it again next year.”

“We are so grateful to be part of such an amazing community,” said Chelsea Jewel, mother of Stella, age 2 1/2. 

“We hope our children took away memories of how magical the night was, of dancing in the snow with their friends and singing their hearts out with their parents,” said Bateman-Tank. “We hope the memories of Christmas we made this night lasts a lifetime.”

For more information about Green Garden, call the Madison Heights campus at (248) 544-7336 or the Hazel Park campus at (248) 548-4447.