It was children’s books author Dr. Seuss who once wrote: “The more that you read, the more things that you’ll know.” If that’s true, residents of Eddy Hawthorne Ridge and children from the YMCA Afterschool Program in East Greenbush know a great deal indeed.
For the last four years, residents from The Eddy‘s senior living community have been joined by children from the neighboring YMCA for an intergenerational reading hour held twice a month throughout the school year.
The children, ages 5 – 12, get to visit with the seniors at the Eddy Hawthorne Ridge campus and read books to them. The two generations also have the opportunity to talk, laugh, and share snacks together.
“The program is awesome,” said Amy Kennedy, executive director of Eddy Hawthorne Ridge, who first launched the initiative between the two groups. “It’s such a natural fit. Both the residents and children gain the benefit of the program, and many of the children have improved their reading skills over time, to say nothing of how they love sharing snacks!”
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids and the residents to converse and just be in each other’s good company,” said Sara Guzman, site supervisor for the Greenbush YMCA Afterschool Program. “This is an amazing opportunity to build relationships between multiple generations and something the youth, staff, and residents look forward to whenever they are given the opportunity.”
Kennedy credits Betsy Lamoureux, director of activities at Eddy Hawthorne Ridge, who has been dedicated to cultivating and nurturing the program for the past several years to the success it is today. “It’s a win-win for both generations,” said Kennedy.