The Elms' preschool, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes have partnered with Rockynol Ohio Living Center in Akron to begin an intergenerational pilot program. Debuting in October, the program offers opportunities for young students and the older adults to work, learn, and play together.
Research shows that there are positive outcomes for both young children and older adults who participate in an intergenerational program. Elderly adults experience delayed mental decline, lower blood pressure and reduced risk of disease. Young children are prone to feel more comfortable around those with disabilities and impairments of all kinds and develop empathy.
Students walk over to Rockynol to sing, dance and create crafts with rehab patients and assisted living residents. Both groups have started building relationships and get excited to spend time with each other.
There is icing on the cake! When the Akron Dominican Sisters of Peace got wind of this new program, they invited the students to visit their convent on a regular basis and enjoy some of the same activities that are taking place at Rockynol.