Intergenerational Programming is an Ebenezer cornerstone--bringing together two generations who gather daily to visit, explore activities and develop a special kind of friendship. There is nothing quite like watching a child’s eye fill with wonder or a senior’s face light up with joy. In our Ebenezer Intergen communities we are lucky to experience both each day. Our whole child approach includes a unique program that brings young and old together in a stimulating co learning environment. Seniors and children share an unmistakable bond that transcends generations.
Ebenezer intergenerational programs invite children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old to enjoy the company of our loving Grandfriends. The Intergen communities provides opportunities for the Seniors to bond with our youngest little ones, in our infant classrooms, with Rock a bye Baby time. Seniors help our dedicated Teachers in providing 1:1 rocking time with our infants during the week. Grandfriends can enjoy special educational activities in Arts and Crafts, Science or Outside gardening with our fun toddlers or enjoy partnering up with a Preschooler in the Life Long Learning MacPhail Music program.
Our intergenerational space includes:
- A computer center
- Games, toys and puzzles
- A plentiful supply of books to read by the fireplace
- An area for arts and crafts
- Kitchen area for baking cookies
- Outdoor playground and patio
Why It Works
Building on Ebenezer’s faith-based heritage, our intergenerational program helps bridge the generation gap. Children learn respect for older adults and compassion for their physical limitations. Older adults maintain self-worth by sharing their lives and experiences. Children bring life, spirit and joy to seniors on the campus, keeping them young at heart. The attention and encouragement of seniors helps children flourish.
Our children are often fascinated as they learn about how the world was different, and what it was like to be a child in an earlier time. In turn, the children breathe happiness and life into our grandfriend communities--sharing their lives and experiences with their special friends. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, as the seniors are reinvigorated by the innocence and joy of the children, while the children learn respect, patience and helpfulness. Perhaps most importantly, our intergenerational programs teach children compassion and kindness. Students who grow up with grandfriends are not self-conscious around seniors in wheelchairs or walkers and are more comfortable when they encounter a senior who may act differently due to their advancing physical conditions. They view their grandfriends with reverence, and value their contributions to the past, present and future.
There is no question our Intergenerational communities provide a powerful impact to both the seniors and children each and every day.
Thanks for reading, as always.