“That each generation could stand on the shoulders of the last and
feel twice as tall is a poetic hope for all our families."
Wildflower Cottage for Children is partnering with St. Paul's Lutheran Church to provide intergenerational experiences with senior adult volunteers in the community. We are coordinating times for these special volunteers to read, garden, picnic, woodwork, bake, play instruments, participate in music classes and puppet shows, etc. We believe that this relationship is the first step toward the goal of creating a shared campus for preschool children and senior adults. Integrated, shared campuses are extremely rare in North Carolina, and we are excited about the possibilities!
Benefits of Shared Campuses for Young Children:
- Life-changing friendships with those who have lived rich lives—a source of joy!
- Being part of an extended family (when biological families are often far away)
- Insight into our history and traditions
- Compassion for those with varying limitations or disabilities (and ways that neighbors care for each other)
- Commitment, appreciation, and respect for those different from themselves.
- Higher personal/social development scores (by 11 months) than preschool children enrolled in traditional programs
- Improved academic performance when entering school, including higher reading scores
- Fewer behavioral problems than peers in traditional programs
Benefits of Shared Campuses for Older Adults:
- Life-changing friendships with those who are just beginning to unwrap life’s potential—a source of joy!
- Acting as mentors and role models, sharing unique skills and talents, passing on wisdom to the youngest generationOverall
- wellness. Physical activity yields opportunities to play and laugh, to burn 20% more calories, to sustain fewer falls, and to reduce reliance upon canes
- Increased learning stimulation; better performance on memory tests; increased level of constructive engagement
- Increased stability due to emotional support network. Reports of feeling renewed sense of self-worth, happier, younger and needed
- Creative outlet for hobbies/activities, pet care, and planting with children
Check out these remarkable videos:
- Benefits of Intergenerational Music Classes (Kindermusik) (2 minutes)
- Mt. Kisco Intergenerational Jewel Program (Mt. Kisco, NY) (10 minutes)
- Providence Mt. St. Vincent (Seattle, WA) (9 minutes)