The Intergenerational Learning Center in Seattle, Washington is a preschool like no other. The unique program is not housed in a traditional preschool, but instead occupies the same space as the Providence Mount St. Vincent retirement home. Each day, children aged infant to 5 years-old interact with elderly residents, learning about kindness and camaraderie between the ages, while bringing joy to otherwise isolated residents.
Like any other preschool, the ILC is a blend of structured and unstructured activities that allow children to learn routine, explore their creative sides, relax or play. But what differs is that these activities often involve playmates of the octogenarian age set. Music, dance, arts and crafts, meal time, story telling and unstructured play is shared each day between generations.
Over 400 elderly residents currently call the assisted-living center home, many spending their days away from their families. With the children of ILC, these residents become more active than they would on their own, engaging in fun, creativity, and experiencing the wonder of young minds.
In turn, the children receive a wealth of experience and benefits. Children in the ILC program become open-minded and confident about the aging process, more tolerant to individuals with disabilities, and as the program believes, more compassionate people. They can also look to the residents as role models, and enjoy more adult interaction and attention than one classroom teacher could provide.
The ILC has warmed hearts, inspiring filmmaker Evan Briggs to create a documentary on the innovative program. You can support his Kickstarter campaign here.
via Bored Panda