Planetary Scientist Carl Sagan once said, “One of the greatest gifts adults can give - to their offspring and to their society - is to read to children.”
Putting books into the hands of children and forming meaningful intergenerational relationships is a priority for Arrow Senior Living communities! To support our efforts, we have launched what we call “Arrow Story Corner.” Each month a resident records the reading of a children’s book that highlights an “Arrow Tradition,” and these stories are shared online for all to hear. This tradition has grown from our company-wide Black History Month Story Corners, where residents all around Arrow Communities read children’s books highlighting black figures in history.
To support small businesses and literacy efforts, we host a fundraiser and partner with the EyeSeeMe Children’s Bookstore to purchase and donate copies of the books we read to local schools, and then a portion of our fundraising efforts also support The EyeSeeMe Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to create programs that increase childhood literacy for under-served communities and to promote African American History and multicultural literature that will increase respect and tolerance for diverse cultures.
This month, The Wildwood Senior Living is taking things a step further and embarking on the adventure of monthly Story Corner events in our community. One of our very own residents will read the Story Corner book of the month to children, as well as other residents, and share in a craft event and snack time. The featured book will then be added to our community library for residents to read to visiting grandchildren. A copy of the book will also be donated to local schools with which our community partners.
Our Story Corner is a wonderful way to foster intergenerational relationships. I love the idea of children coming into our community and having something special just for them. Children can enjoy reading a story with their grandparent or can adopt a grandparent for the day, we have plenty. Then, they can grab delicious snacks and get creative with a craft. Eventually we will accumulate enough children's books, through Story Corner, to have a small children's section in our library.
As a community we have many relationships with our local schools and daycares. We will invite children to come to our Story Corner events and then donate a copy of that month's book to Dover Hill Elementary. This is the same elementary school who creates handmade Valentine's for each of our residents. As time goes on our bond grows and grows.
Wildwood has yet to feature a resident reader for the recorded version of Story Corner; however, we have many retired teachers in our building, and they are patiently awaiting their turn to read. Residents have offered to read the children's book face-to-face with children and that is what we plan to do!
All our Arrow communities encourage adults to give the gift of reading to youngsters. The relationships formed during the time spent between the reader and listener can be life changing for both generations.