PRIDE Community Services will debut their new and fully operational Mill Creek Intergenerational Center Wed. August 27. This is a center that will house a Senior Center and a Head Start Center in the same facility. The facility is located in the former Victory Freewill Baptist Church.
“This is a win-win for everyone,” Executive Director Reginald Jones said. “We get to provide more options for the children and seniors in the area; the children and seniors have this opportunity for interaction that they didn’t have before, and having them in the same center lowers our costs to open up more money for further projects.”
PRIDE provides a means of transportation to seniors who require assistance. Jones said another good thing about combining the programs in the company can use one bus driver for both purposes.
“In the mornings she picks up the children and brings them to the head start,” Jones said. “Then she picks up the “home deliver meals” and delivers them. On her way back, she picks up seniors who come to the center to eat. In the afternoon, she takes the seniors back home. Then she comes back to the intergenerational center to pick up the children and transport them back to their houses.”
Jones said this is a project they have been working on for a few years and it is finally coming to fruition. He, along with head start teacher Andrea Affolter, is extremely proud of the facility. The lunch room in the building houses both the seniors and children, and they eat at the same time. A small partition separates the two (with the tiny children’s tables on one side and the larger, senior’s tales on the other) but also allows for interaction. Many other aspects of the building were designed with intergenerational interaction in mind as well. For example, the old sanctuary is built on a slant. Jones and his team kept that design structure for extracurricular purposes.
“Maybe the kids will put on a Christmas play for the seniors,” Jones said. “This will just be a nice room for interaction.”
The head start classroom is located directly behind that room and has multiple safety precautions including locked doors and alarms. The color spectrum of the room is a little different than most pre-schools or head starts. Affolter said the color scheme is called Greggio and feels a little homier for the children. The spectrum includes soft blues, yellows, beiges and browns.
Affolter explained the curriculum as creative curriculum. The children learn at different learning stations including an art station and a Smart Board.
Affolter says that she currently has 11 students and two who will be joining later in the year. The class is full at 15. Jones says applications can be picked up at the main PRIDE office on Stratton Street in downtown Logan. The time for the senior meals at the Mill Creek Intergenerational Center are 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Jones said if this goes well they have plans to create another Intergenerational Center at the head start in Lorado. They are hoping to receive funding to build an extra wing onto the building to house the “senior section” at the Lorado location.