I know; I know. We are so ready for spring! But on March 11, we had one more blast of snow at our Intergenerational Reading & Seeding event held at Keystone Place at Legacy Ridge in Westminster, Colorado. Let’s face it, March is the snowiest month of the year in Colorado, and the night before our event, 18 inches of fresh powder fell in the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado!
Several generations came together. There were kids sitting on the colorful mat on the floor, teenage volunteers and other volunteers bustling around, and older people sitting in chairs, wheelchairs, and leaning on walkers. Our event included people from the Silent Generation (born 1945 or before), Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), Millennials (Born 1977-1995), Generation Z (born 1996-2015), and Generation Alpha (Born 2016-and after). We didn’t have anyone this time from Generation X (Born 1965-1976).
We started by looking at the Compassion Quilt that has several words of compassion embroidered on it, such as kindness, humble, love, and understanding. We found the words, defined them, and gave examples of how the word can be used in life. It helped reinforce how to be a compassionate people.
After that, we looked around the room, noticed, acknowledged, and shared our differences. Some were tall, some short; some with black hair some with gray hair; some with dark skin, some with white skin; some wearing a dress, some wearing pants; and some were old and some were young. This led us to our book, Can Old Be Beautiful, written by Sonja Wendt.
Can Old Be Beautiful is a story addressing self-image and how social media can impact our understanding and belief of just what is beautiful. Seymour and Serina Seed, the seeds of compassion, start the story. This story is about six-year-old Maggie and her grandma having a conversation sitting on the front porch swing during a cool fall evening. After seeing ads of washing that gray right out of your hair and this magic wrinkle eraser cream, Maggie is confused with why such products were needed to be beautiful. The two talk about beautiful things like rainbows, and autumn leaves to old things that are beautiful, like castles and majestic mountain. Maggie comes to her own conclusion about age and beauty.
A magnifying glass was used to look at snowflakes to see the “bigger picture.” Under the glass we could see that each snowflake is unique and beautiful in its own way, just like the people around us in the room.
Seniors and children worked together and made sparkly foam snowflakes of their own as we munched on a snack.
Throughout the event we heard comments from kids to older adults such as:
- It is fun seeing the different generations interact and bond (Mary)
- I love being here with the kids, brings back such good memories. (Lavern)
- This event shows how natural and beautiful aging is. (Elise)
- I could see how this helped seniors be less isolated and more happy. (Leo)
- I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this event. (Alberta)
- I learned new words and what they mean, like humble. (Makenna)
- This helped me to understand by seeing “the big picture.” It was cool seeing the tiny snowflakes using the magnifying glass to make them look so much bigger. (Chloe)
- It is fun being with older people; they were nice. (Eliana)
There was chatter, laughter, and singing of a song wrapping up the event.
If you have a 4–8-year-old child in the Denver area that would like to participate in this free event, please contact Sonja Wendt.
Enhancing children’s sensitivity in human interactions one story at a time.
Author and Intergenerational Reading & Seeding Cultivator
Cultivating Compassion in Children Books Series
Books Available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/SonjaLangeWendt
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