Every year during the week of Thanksgiving, dozens of children and their special friends gather together inside the Village Chapel at Birchaven Village Nursing Home to celebrate with food, friendship and fun. Marilyn’s Lifelong Educational Center, or Macklin Institute, is a daycare housed at Birchaven Village that serves children ages three months through preschool. Every day, children who attend the daycare make trips down “Main Street” in the nursing home village, and visit their “grandfriends” (nursing home residents) to participate in group and one-on-one interactions and conversations. The traditional Thanksgiving Feast is one of several events throughout the year that the children, as well as their parents, are invited to take part in with the “grandfriends.” “We always have positive feedback from the grandfriends and the childrens’ parents,” said MLLEC Executive Director Tiffani Murray. “The social and emotional experience the intergenerational component adds beyond the typical quality early childhood program instills a sense of community and a natural understanding of diverse populations and individuals.”
For more information, visit www.birchaven.org.