ISSN 1538-1080

Benefits of Intergenerational Programming

Benefits of Intergenerational Programming


Said the little boy, Sometimes I drop my spoon. Said the old man, I do that too. The little boy whispered, I wet my pants. I do that too, laughed the little old man. Said the little boy, I often cry. The old man nodded, So do I. But worst of all, said the boy, it seems Grown-ups dont pay attention to me. And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand. I know what you mean, said the little old man. Shel Silverstein Lamentable, but beautiful, this poem illustrates the strong connection that can be made between generations that are far apart chronologically. We have seen this again and again during our year at All Seasons Preschool, a school housed inside of a senior living building. When we embarked on this journey, we were aware of the research about the benefits of intergenerational relationships in broad, generic ways. Our intentions were good and our expectations were high, but they were distant, lofty and not yet tangible. This year weve seen in great and small, but most importantly in very personal ways, the benefits of the relationships that have developed between the young and old. Here, together, those distant and lofty goals transformed into very personal benefits for real people, many of them planned and expected, and many others surprising and unexpected. We witness the small miracles that occur on a daily basis and if we blink, we miss them.

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