Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Reading PALS Intergenerational Story Time

This summer, children and older adults can be seen reading together in a variety of places in and around Silver Bay – places such as the Silver Bay Public Library, North Shore Area Partners, Carefree Living, and Black Beach. A federal grant through AmeriCorps provides funding for this program.

On Wednesday, July 26th, the story time group met at Carefree Living. Children were invited to pick out a picture book and join with a Carefree resident in reading together. Volunteers from North Shore Area Partners and the Silver Bay Library assisted children finding a reading friend. Many older adults value time spent with children.

Why are intergenerational activities im­portant? According to Generations United, the benefits of intergenerational program­ming for elementary-aged children include enhanced reading and writing; improved task orientation, short-term memory, problem solving, and accountability; increased pa­tience, sensitivity, compassion, empathy, and respect; reduced anxiety, sadness, and stress; improved mood management; and a healthier lifestyle.

Older adults are benefited by intergener­ational programming as well. Generations United states that intergenerational program­ming decreases social isolation; improves the quality and purpose of and in life; improves self-worth, self-esteem, and empowerment; and improves cognitive and physical health.

After the children were done reading, they eagerly gathered around tables to eat a snack of popcorn and fresh blueberries. Meal shar­ing, even something as simple as a basic snack, is another vital link in our being con­nected to one another, thus promoting good mental health.

Children then made “magic mud” – corn­starch, water, and food dye mixed together into a mystifying substance which is curious­ly both a solid and a liquid (formally known as a non-Newtonian fluid). Volunteers and older adults enjoyed helping the children measure the cornstarch and water.

More intergenerational reading activities are scheduled for this summer. These events are geared for ages 5 and up, and older adults. Learn more at North Shore Area Partners or the Silver Bay Public Library.

Summer isn’t the only time you’ll see combined generations reading togeth­er. Throughout the winter, the intergenerational read­ing continues. Every other Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the third graders from William Kelley School venture to North Shore Area Partners to read with older adults.

Even if you can’t make it to one of the organized reading opportunities, you can find people of all generations to connect with at North Shore Area Partners, Carefree Liv­ing, the Minnesota Veterans’ Home, or your local religious congregation.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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