While the concept of Intergenerational Centers is fairly new, the reality of multiple generations living, working and playing together is as old as families themselves. In our busy and mobile world we have often lost sight of the benefits and importance of the young and old being together. Early research in this concept suggests significant benefits for young and old alike.
An intergenerational center consists of a wing dedicated to the care and education of young children and another wing dedicated to the care and enrichment of the elderly. What makes it intergenerational is that programming is intentionally designed to encourage the children and elders to be together at various times during the day for activities as well as organic interactions.
The Bethlehem Intergenerational Center (The BIC) builds on 46 years of providing the highest quality child care and education at our Hill Child Development Center. With the creation of The BIC we have added a new space for the care of Seniors (65 and older).
- Elders and children planting seeds together and watching new life grow
- Young and old sharing meals together
- A 90 year old and a 3 year old playing in shaving cream at a sensory table
- Elders and young children singing together
- An elder consoling a crying baby
- Tales told of being 5 years old, 75 years ago
- Young and old blowing bubbles on the playground
- Books being read by elders to youngsters
- Books being “read” by youngsters to elders