The Globe and Mail reported last weekend about a retirement home in Invermere, British Columbia which plays host to children from a local kindergarten. Two days a week, eighteen kindergarteners from a nearby school occupy the home’s common room, with the company and guidance of resident seniors.
The program has proved a success for both young and old participants. The children, many of whom do not have grandparents nearby, benefit from lessons taught by patient instructors while the seniors are motivated to attend the classroom and teach and play with the youngsters.
The program was modeled on a similar venture in Oklahoma, which had previously succeeded in improving children’s reading scores, and lowering medication rates for seniors and improving their quality of life.
The interaction between children and seniors is natural and comfortable, and as one of the program’s directors describes, the opportunity to learn together “makes for a million magic moments.”