Local seniors and youth sharing time in Hoquiam

Hoquiam, WA – Hoquiam elementary students and Channel Point Village have been working together to share between generations.

In a release, Village Concepts of Hoquiam, who operate the Channel Point retirement community, said that a partnership with Central Elementary School in Hoquiam part of the Hoquiam School District’s Team Wednesday initiative has benefited their residents.

In the relationship, on Wednesdays when Hoquiam students have early release, a select group of the 4th and 5th grade students at Central will walk a few blocks with their Para-educators to Channel Point Village.

According to the release, the Central students have visited the retirement community about twice a month during the school year.

Residents of the retirement community welcome them with a tasty snack and conversation, and then they work together on an art project, listen to music or socialize.

Heather Dyson, Principal of Central Elementary School shared about the program, “The partnership with Central students and Channel Point is giving our young citizens an opportunity to be involved in the community. The time spent together, connecting and bonding is benefitting both generations.”

Channel Point’s Executive Director, Maggie Birmingham, says the benefit is clear. “We have an active and engaged community here, but when the children arrive, you see and hear even more laughter, smiles and conversation.”

Channel Point says that these type of intergenerational programs are becoming more popular in senior living communities.

They cite information from Generations Unlimited, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children, youth and older adults, saying that one benefit for older adults is that they learn new innovations and technologies from their younger counterparts. For children, interacting with older adults enables them to develop social networks, communication skills, problem-solving abilities, positive attitudes toward aging, a sense of purpose and community service.