Now in its fourth session, the Intergenerational Education Program is a six-week long, curriculum-based program, designed and facilitated by Milwaukee Catholic Home’s expert recreation therapy team. A group of 22 MCH residents and 22 first grade students from Messmer Saint Mary began their weekly educational sessions on Wednesday, October 3rd. This year, session programs include cookie decorating, money handling, gardening demonstrations, and crafting festive Halloween masks. Students and residents will make their joint final presentations during their concluding session on Wednesday, November 7th.
“Every week, students want to know what the activity is for the following week,” says program assistant Madeline Dahl. “So they are definitely enjoying each activity while learning with their grand-friends!”
The program allows Milwaukee Catholic Home residents to make meaningful contributions to the education of students, drawing on their personal expertise and life experiences. In turn, students benefit from an enhanced understanding of aging and their elders, from decreased negative stereotypes, and increased overall comfort with older adults.
“It is heartwarming to see the interactions between the residents of Milwaukee Catholic Home and the children from Messmer,” says Tori Smith, Director of Recreation Therapy. “Watching the relationships grow each week has been inspiring and shows how we can easily bridge the gap between generations if given the opportunities.”
Milwaukee Catholic Home has extensive experience in the development and successful implementation of intergenerational programming. Our certified recreation therapists work in active partnership with Nurturing Nook, the child daycare center onsite on MCH’s campus, to create a weekly calendar of shared activities. Other ongoing programs include “Book Buddies,” a program pairing MCH residents with students at Maryland Montessori School to support literacy development.
Learn more about the Intergenerational Education Program here.