As a former children's Sunday school teacher, Theda Ogg, 94, enjoys spending time with kids who come to Atria Copeland to participate in story time, do crafts and watch movies.

But because her vision is not quite what it used to be, she can't always read children books when they visit.

Recently, right before the residents were set to watch "Cars" with the children, she brought a Bible storybook with the intention of describing every illustration.

To her surprise, one of the children in the group, Connor Moore, 8, wanted to help her read the book and read aloud to other children until the story was done.

"He is third-grade level but he reads a sixth-grade level," Ms. Ogg said. "I brought a book and I thought, well they can look at the pages and I can tell them the story because I couldn't see. He can read! He was reading the stories to us!"

Interactions such as the one Ms. Ogg had with Moore are the goal of Atria Copeland's intergenerational activities, which bring seniors and children together to interact.

"I feel like the older generation has so much to offer and so much wisdom to share and (this) gives the new generation the opportunity to absorb that," Deb Thorson, engage life director at Atria Copeland, said. "It excites me to see the impact they can have on these kids' lives starting them out at such a young age."

During the month of July at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Atria Copeland is inviting children from throughout the community to come enjoy story time with books read by their residents, do book-related crafts and have a snack. At 3 p.m. Thursdays, children can watch movies and eat popcorn with the residents. All activities are geared toward children ages 3 to 9 and the children must be accompanied by an adult.

Atria Copeland resident Monica Birdsong said she's enjoyed spending time with the children who visit and thinks they can benefit greatly from coming there and spending time with residents in the community.

"I think it's good for the kids to be around adults that aren't relatives," Mrs. Birdsong said. "It expands their knowledge and people they know (so) they won't be afraid of strangers."

Ms. Thorson said the more children who come, the merrier, and that the experience has been beneficial for all participants.

She added that children who come to do the activities will be greeted by residents who are happy to see them.

"We have residents at all levels. It's one thing where it's flat all the way across the board," Thorson said. "You bring a kid in here and it's going to light up their day."






Recent Stories You Might Have Missed