ROSWELL (April 27, 2016) – On Monday and Wednesday mornings at 10:00AM, 16 preschoolers join the Arbor Terrace residents for a morning of musical fun. When the group first starts, you may only find 3 or 4 residents waiting in their chairs for the kids to arrive. When the kids arrive and the music starts, though, more and more join with big smiles on their faces and begin to sing and dance along with the kids.
The Giving Tree is an Intergenerational Preschool Program at Arbor Terrace in Roswell, GA that utilizes singing, dancing, and instrument play to facilitate interaction between their residents and the preschoolers. On any given day you may find them practicing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with their sign language, playing boomwhackers along with a Frank Sinatra tune, or playing instruments along with a famous Disney song. Using music and activities that appeal to young and old alike, The Giving Tree connects these two generations that would otherwise never interact.
For seniors, intergenerational preschool programs are a wonderful opportunity for community access, considering much of the outside world seldom comes into nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In bringing a preschool to them, the feelings of loneliness and isolation can be diminished by the innocence, joy, and playfulness that children often bring to any atmosphere. Young children learn through their interactions that aging is normal, that the elderly are not scary, and simultaneously receive unconditional love and hugs from the residents.
The group is organized by Stephanie Mock of Arbor Terrace, in partnership with The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc, owned by Jamie George, LPMT, MM, MT-BC. The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc. is a music therapy clinic that employs 9 full-time music therapists serving the metro-Atlanta area. Melissa Sorensen, LPMT, MT-BC runs the group every Monday and Wednesday morning. The preschoolers and residents will give a performance on May 12th and 13th at 10:00 am at Arbor Terrace at Crabapple.