A great example of generations coming together for “purpose”

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I had a brief business meeting that I needed to attend this morning and then I was able to head back to the auditorium to catch the tail end of a fantastic program that links the residents to University of Pennsylvania students. Approximately 25 students from the University of Pennsylvania for whom English is their second language come to The Watermark on a monthly basis. Residents pair off with 1-3 students and they engage in conversation.

The intention of the program is to help the students with their English communication skills – however by the look on the residents’ faces and the enthusiasm of the conversations it’s clearly mutually beneficial. This reiterates that sometimes the best thing we can “do” for our elders (or anyone for that matter) is not necessarily to “do” things for them, instead provide opportunities where they can “do” things for someone else. I have seen first hand how much elders have been able to “do” for me in my travels!

When the program finished the “instructor” had quite a challenge getting the students to stop talking and get them to the bus back to U. Penn. Several of the students brought their cameras and were eager to get pictures with the residents.

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