Monday, June 07, 2010

Senior citizens, childcare center seek funds for unique intergenerational partnership

By Peg Johnson

The Lakeshore senior community in Duluth is proposing a unique and innovative new partnership with Little Treasures Center, a child care center serving children ages six weeks through pre-school, with a particular focus on at-risk children and families. Lakeshore is proposing to create a new intergenerational community that will foster the healthy development of children and increase the quality of life of older adults. In order for this to happen Lakeshore will build-out an existing, undeveloped space to house Little Treasures and its programs at Lakeshore. This partnership will integrate older adults in the Lakeshore community with children at Little Treasures.

Little Treasures has been searching for a permanent site in the East Hillside for over two years. The daycare found a new space but it is in a different neighborhood, Lakeside. Many of the current families will follow the daycare and new families in Lakeside will enroll.
A capital campaign to raise funds for the build-out project has been started by Lakeshore. It is their hope that pre-construction activities will begin in summer 2010, with construction completed and Little Treasures moved in by September 1, 2010. The two organizations will also share food services, kitchen space, and meeting space, and leverage other resources when possible.

The goal is to engage older adults at Lakeshore and the broader community in volunteering at Little Treasures. Older adults will work one-on-one with children and activities will range from rocking infants to reading a book with a toddler to helping preschoolers learn their letters. These kinds of relationships have proven to be beneficial for all involved.
One-half of the funds necessary for this build-out have already been raised through individual contributions and foundations. The public can help move this exciting project forward by making a donation or a pledge. Please contact Judy Poss at Lakeshore at (218) 625-7845 for more details.