Skip to main content

All Ages Talk Turkey at Intergenerational Thanksgiving

By November 25, 2016No Comments3 min read

Evie and Diane are both great-grandmothers. But that didn’t stop them from taking a seat at the kids’ table during St. Ann Center’s First annual Intergenerational Thanksgiving. To make the holiday extra-special, the adults and children who spend their days together at both our Stein and Bucyrus Campuses gathered for an all-ages feast, complete with all the trimmings.

This Turkey Day inspiration came from Sarah Volpintesta, a lead teacher in our childcare program. “I figured since St. Ann Center is an intergenerational facility and Thanksgiving is about coming together as a family, it would be nice for the children and adults to share a meal,” she explained. The kids were well-prepared, she added. “All our classrooms have family-style meals daily. So the kids learn to serve themselves, pass bowls and plates and to say please and thank-you.”

That practice paid off when children from the Firefly Classroom shared tables with their adult friends from Senior Wellness in the Stein Campus dining room the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. “Their table manners are beautiful!”  Evie said of the well-behaved four-year-olds. She also enjoyed the conversation which included a lively exchange about favorite holiday pies. Diane voted for lemon, and Evie stuck with traditional pumpkin. The kids, however, thought outside of pie tin. Their picks ranged from strawberry, chocolate and orange meringue to mushroom pizza.

Meantime, in the atrium, the 2-year-old Butterflies treated the adults to a pre-meal recital of Christmas songs. After eating, the youngsters were ready for a game of balloon volleyball. “These kids really know how to work off their turkey,” Fred laughed as he batted a balloon back to a bunch of bouncing youngsters surrounding his wheelchair. “The little ones make everything more fun.”

Across town, at the Bucyrus Campus, the Intergenerational Park was filled with rows of long tables, decorated with Thanksgiving centerpieces handcrafted by the 3-year-olds from the Zebra classroom. A spirited performance by the Washington Park Senior Choir started hands clapping to the gospel beat. Christine Barber from the Akachi adult day care unit led a prayer, “Let us not forget our children who bless us here every day” while Seriah, representing the Lion after-school classroom, added, “We are so thankful for our elders.”

As the staff passed out plates brimming with turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and homemade cornbread, the 2-year-old Meerkats stepped up to the microphone. Wearing turkey necklaces they’d fashioned from paper plates, they shared what they were thankful for—from mommies and daddies to pets and apple trees.  Then, they gathered around their teacher as she read one of the class’ favorite poems, adapted from a quote by Mahatma Ghandi:

“I wish you peace, I wish you love, I wish you friendship. I see your beauty. I feel your feelings. Let us work together for unity and love.”


Leave a Reply