October 21, 2022
Planetary Scientist Carl Sagan once said, “One of the greatest gifts adults can give – to their offspring and to their society – is to read to children.”
Putting books into the hands of children and forming meaningful intergenerational relationships is a priority for Arrow Senior Living communities! To support our efforts, we have launched what we call “Arrow Story Corner.” Each month a resident records the reading of a children’s book that highlights an “Arrow Tradition,” and these stories are shared online for all to hear. This tradition has grown from our company-wide Black History Month Story Corners, where residents all around Arrow Communities read children’s books highlighting black figures in history.
To support small businesses and literacy efforts, we host a fundraiser and partner with the EyeSeeMe Children’s Bookstore to purchase and donate copies of the books we read to local schools, and then a portion of our fundraising efforts also support The EyeSeeMe Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to create programs that increase childhood literacy for under-served communities and to promote African American History and multicultural literature that will increase respect and tolerance for diverse cultures.
This month, Vitalia Active Adult Community – North Olmsted is taking things a step further and embarking on the adventure of monthly Story Corner events in our community. One of our very own residents will read the Story Corner book of the month to children, as well as other residents, and share in a craft event and snack time. The featured book will then be added to our community library for residents to read to visiting grandchildren. A copy of the book will also be donated to local schools with which our community partners.
The importance of reading with children can never be overstated. Not only are the cognitive benefits immeasurable but reading also sparks creativity and imagination. The benefits for adults are even greater. Reading helps improve memory and concentration, reduces stress, and could even extend one’s life. Combining these perks with the positive effects of intergenerational interaction multiplies the impact exponentially. Kids and older adults alike gain insight into each other’s lives, build relationships, and improve positive outcomes. Having set programming adds purposeful moments which brighten the lives of all involved.
Chestnut Elementary School is just one-quarter mile away from us and we are thrilled to be building a relationship with them. We have invited them to our Story Corner and we’re hosting a kids’ holiday party for them to join us too. We are also building a volunteer pool among our residents to look for ways we can serve our community more regularly. Residents will be going to the elementary school to help with their school parties. We hope to set regular times to go read with kids, work on flash cards, and help with their garden.
Watching and listening to other community residents read for Story Corner really opens discussions about topics we may not have previously had in mind.
We recently read The Giving Tree again. It tugs on our heartstrings as we think of all we would do for our loved ones, and it also helps us remember to appreciate those who do for us. It’s a story that opens our eyes to perspective and gratitude, which we hope to share not only with kids, but with all our loved ones. Afterall, we’re all young at heart!
All our Arrow communities encourage adults to give the gift of reading to youngsters. The relationships formed during the time spent between the reader and listener can be life changing for both generations.
VITALIA® Highland Heights in Willoughby Hills, OH offers 55+ villa homes, senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include a Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more.
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