The freedom to be
“Everyone learns to be themselves. That’s what education should be.”-Sherry Sharp, Volunteer & Lifelong Learner
Intergenerational programs promote community and continuity through shared, informal activities that enrich the lives of all involved.
At her Early Learning Centre, Brown’s own parents are key to the success of these endeavours. Her father, David Sharp, plays guitar for the children, while Lisa’s mother, Sherry, teaches the children how to garden.
As Mr. Sharp explains, spending time with children provides seniors with an outlet for the experiences they’ve accumulated, as well as a sense of rejuvenation.
“They like to hear the stories we tell and the tunes we play. Keep you on your toes, for sure. And limber!”-David Sharp, Musician & Lifelong Learner
“Children need to learn that carrots come from the ground, not from the grocery store. Who better to teach that to children than the elders in our community?” -Lisa Brown, Director of Lisa's Early Learning Centre
Meanwhile, students at the learning centre gain another source of encouragement and guidance as they continue their journey through childhood. For Quinn Baxter, a junior leader at Tír na nÓg, the freedom they’re given to explore makes forest school all the more appealing.
“Usually, we don’t realize we’re learning,“ Quinn explains. “We’re just playing. Experimenting, basically.”
“They know more than we do now,” he remarks, hopeful that a few memories of the farm will stay with them in their travels. In the intergenerational community that he’s helping to build, the past and future are never far from each other, and the places where they meet feel both promising and hospitable at once.
“They’re welcome,” he says, “any time.”
WHAT OUR CAMERA CAPTURED
Check out this quick clip, which helps explain why we’re so excited about intergenerational learning communities finding a home in New Brunswick.