Village Concepts of Hoquiam – Channel Point retirement community and Central Elementary School in Hoquiam formed a new partnership this school year as part of the Hoquiam School District’s Team Wednesday initiative. On Wednesdays, Hoquiam students have early release, which allows teachers time for planning and training. When school lets out on Wednesdays, a select group of the 4th and 5th grade students at Central walk a few blocks with their Para-educators to Channel Point Village. Residents of the retirement community welcome them with a tasty snack and conversation, and then they work together on an art project, listen to music or socialize. The Central students visited the retirement community about twice a month during the school year.
The seniors enjoy spending time with the children and the children look forward to their visits with the seniors. Heather Dyson, Principal of Central Elementary School shared, “The partnership with Central students and Channel Point is giving our young citizens an opportunity to be involved in the community. The time spent together, connecting and bonding is benefiting both generations.”
Channel Point’s Executive Director, Maggie Birmingham, says the benefit is clear. “We have an active and engaged community here, but when the children arrive, you see and hear even more laughter, smiles and conversation.”
Inter-generational programs are becoming more and more popular in senior living communities. According to Generations Unlimited, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth and older adults, one benefit for older adults is that they learn new innovations and technologies from their younger counterparts. For children, interacting with older adults enables them to develop social networks, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, positive attitudes toward aging, a sense of purpose and community service.
Founded in 1975, Village Concepts owns and operates 17 residential and assisted living communities throughout Washington State and provides property management and consulting services for owners of assisted living communities. Village Concepts, a leader in the senior living industry, is a third-generation, family-owned business. Each community encourages residents to “create a village that feels like family” by providing personalized care, fostering new relationships and encouraging independence.