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Some of my most fond memories from my childhood are those that happened with my grandparents. I was fortunate enough to live close to them. I treasure talks with my grandmother about the good ole days and the simplicity and slow pace she often talked about. She taught me how to make bread from scratch. I helped weed her flower beds and trim the hedges. To this day, I love hearing about the amazing experiences my grandfather has had, his charm and outgoing personality opened a lot of doors for him. He had a strong work ethic, he wasn’t afraid to try new things and he held so many unique relationships and ties to his community. These memories have guided me through my life. They inspire me to also be outgoing, to be hardworking and advocate for my community and the groups I hold dear.

Unfortunately, not all children get to experience the positive influence of a grandparent or elder. Some families live far apart, some are victims of damaged relationships and in some cases, our family members don’t live as long as we would like them to. So how can we fill this gap? 

At Fueling Brains, some of our campuses are fortunate enough to be attached to an AgeCare facility which are homes for senior citizens in our community. Every few weeks, the children in our programs are invited to share an experience with the “grandmas and grandpas” as the children call them. It is so valuable for both parties to share time with another generation. 

Children who regularly spend time with older people will show an increase in language development and social skills. Alternatively, spending time with the younger ones, and doing activities with them, allow seniors to practice their fine and gross motor skills, which often become underdeveloped as adults age.

Many seniors in care do not often get visitors and are overjoyed by all the young energy that comes to visit. Students at Fueling Brains Academy Strathmore and Fueling Brains Academy Walden enhance their learning with regular visits to the residents at AgeCare Seniors Community. In recent weeks, the children have joined the seniors for an Earth Day cleanup of their courtyard. They have enjoyed snow cones on hot sunny days together. The children parade through their lobby on spirit days and share in art experiences with their senior friends. 

During the pandemic, the seniors put on a short dance performance outside, while the children were indoors enjoying the entertainment through the window. The comradery between generations is a beautiful thing to behold, and a way we can provide even more positive role model for the students in our campuses. These groups truly enjoy each other’s company and the benefits overfill our cups with joy. We are so proud as an organization that we can offer experiences like this.

Written by Trisha Skinner, Instructional Coach, Fueling Brains

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MCKNight Campus

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New Brighton Campus

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Strathmore Campus

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6:30 AM - 6:00 PM

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