Preschool aged children from the Kindness Creators and seniors from the Oak Park Arms were connected by WTTW’s Kids Grandparent Connection on December 11, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. Kindness Creators Intergenerational Program is a preschool for children aged three to five, housed within the Oak Park Arms Senior Living Community.
WTTW’s host, Miguel de León, invited children and seniors to sit together to enjoy several songs with guidance for participation from both age groups. The seniors and children worked together in pairs and groups during a learning activity. The program ended with a goodbye song, and all children were given backpacks full of learning materials.
The Kids Grandparent Connection is a community enrichment initiative, created and run by WTTW television. It is designed to bring joy, mutual understanding, and discovery to seniors living in senior communities, and preschool and Kindergarten-aged children in local schools.
The famous anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Somehow we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, a knowledge of the past, and a sense of the future.”
Seniors report they don’t think about their age when in the company of young children. The youngsters bring a sense of vitality and fun, and the focus shifts to living in the moment. This volunteerism also satisfies a drive to give to others in a meaningful way.
Through these interactions, children learn patience, acceptance, social maturity, and in some cases, higher academic performance. According to the Department of Education, intergenerational programs are built on the assumptions that human development and learning are a lifelong process.
“Bringing the two generations together continues to be special for our seniors and the preschoolers in the building,” said Moses Williams, executive director of the Oak Park Arms. “We are very grateful to WTTW for sharing their intergenerational program with Kindness Creators and the residents of the Oak Park Arms.”
The Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior independent living apartments and a full schedule of activities for seniors. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.
For more information about the Oak Park Arms call 708-386-4040. For more information about Kindness Creators visit: https://kindnesscreators.org/