A Recipe for Inter-generational Programming
There is no doubt about it, adding kids to any Senior care community adds a charge of energy almost immediately! Creating a program that engages the elderly and encourages reading success among children is a project that everyone can support. Here is the recipe to make programs in your community a success.
Ingredients for a successful reading program:
- 1 group of Interested Seniors: Any number of seniors are perfect for a reading program. If you have five or twenty, the program can still be a success. One way to gauge interest is to visit Seniors one on one to see who may be able to donate their time and talent. Once one agrees to join, many will follow suit.
- 1 group of students who need tutoring in reading: The most important part of any program is finding a teacher that could use the help. A school in your area is ideal, but other groups can participate as well. I have seen scouting groups work successfully, as well as homeschooled children. Your local school board can help guide you as to who to contact.I can assure you, assistance with reading tutoring is a welcome support to any teacher! A grade that I have found that is excellent for this support is third grade. Third grade is a pivotal time where reading skills are developed and built upon.
- 1 Method of Tutoring: Each program will need to decide, along with the teacher, the best way to approach the teaching. I have seen programs where the students call one time per week and do their reading over the phone. In some cases, the students will come to the assisted living community for that one on one time. Both approaches can be successful, and offering a choice is often appreciated.
- 1 Place to meet if the children are coming in to your location: This should be in a supervised location, which I feel is the best. A dining room is great, and an activity room is wonderful, too. This way, you can assist and kids and seniors as needed. Often a teacher will be present, offering an extra support person.
- 1 Definite Start Time and a Definite End Time: Seniors and kids generally thrive when there is a set schedule. This way, everyone knows what to expect. An example schedule would be every Tuesday from 2:00-2:30 for 5 weeks.
With these ingredients, your inter-generational program can be successful too. Whether you offer a reading program, or some other concept, consider two questions. First “do you think the seniors will enjoy it?” And second, “will the kids get something out of it?” If the answer to both questions is an enthusiastic YES, then do what you need to make it happen.