Students at Sharon KinderCare recently gifted artwork to Whitney Place at Sharon residents to “bring sunshine.”
KinderCare Center Director, Melanie Levesque, explains that the students started sharing their artwork with “their friends across the street” around Thanksgiving last year. The project was inspired by Levesque’s own grandfather, who she was unable to see at the time, to “let the residents know we are thinking of them and to brighten their day!”
Levesque started with Sharon KinderCare in 2012 as a kindergarten teacher and was promoted to Center Director in March 2018. She loves working with children and finding ways to expand the scope of their projects. Through creating artwork and sharing it with others, students better understand the significance of acts of kindness.
Director of Resident Engagement and Community Outreach for Whitney Place, Allison Karsay, explains that the “residents love receiving the artwork.”
The benefits of intergenerational relationships are two-fold; multiple studies have found that seniors who regularly interact with children are less likely to develop memory issues and are more inclined to learn new skills, experience an improved sense of purpose and meaning, gain a more positive outlook on aging, and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Conversely, youth who consistently spend time with senior mentors are more likely to trust adults, improve their communication skills, and reduce depression symptoms.
SALMON Health and Retirement’s Natick community features SALMON’s Center for Early Education along with their Beaumont Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation and Whitney Place Assisted Living and Memory Care community. Before COVID, students and residents regularly participated in engagement activities and events together—something the community is looking forward to continuing in the near future. In addition, SALMON hopes to expand their intergenerational programming on their other campuses through more community interaction—like Whitney Place at Sharon.
Both Karsay and Levesque look forward to continuing the partnership between their two organizations and have discussed “field trips across the street,” combined art projects, story time, sing-alongs, and more.
Levesque concludes, “Lessons of compassion and kindness and learning how to support others is our biggest message to students.”
About SALMON Health and Retirement SALMON Health and Retirement is a trusted leader in the operation of senior living communities. Founded as a skilled nursing center in 1952 by Dan and Helen Salmon, today, the third generation of the Salmon family runs the region’s only complete care continuum—from active living to hospice care, and everything in between. To learn more, please visit www.SalmonHealth.com. SALMON at Medway is the organization’s newest community opening in summer 2021, offering active independent living, assisted living, and memory care. For more information, please visit www.MedwaySeniorLiving.com.