Delaware Child Development Center is working towards fostering the relationship between our young children and the elders in our community. Our teachers, family service coordinator, myself and the caregivers at Elder Care believe that the beauty of fostering relationships will bring greater opportunities to learn new skills from the different generations. Some advantages to children who spend time with the elderly include:
Learning new skills and knowledge.
Having a greater sense of purpose.
Learning to understand and later accept one’s own aging experience.
Learning history and stories from past generations.
Broadening social circles and social skills.
Having a visit from the elderly is something to enjoy and look forward to.
Increasing self-worth and self-esteem through receiving and reciprocating mentorship. Children can teach, too!
Our program is working alongside Elder Care of Bartlesville to develop intentional activities to “bridge the gap.” In early June, our Preschool class went to Elder Care and made bird feeders using pinecones, peanut butter and seeds. Afterwards, the kids and elders planted seeds and played some games together. The children enjoyed making new friends.
On June 18th some residents of Elder Care returned the kindness by visiting our center to do some gardening—harvesting a large amount of cucumbers with the Preschool and Early Preschool classes. Both the older generation and many of the children were visibly delighted to spend this special time together.
We are hoping that by exposing children to elders at an early age, they will absorb their wisdom and learn new skills and methods of doing things.