Ruth Stubbs saw the preschoolers on her first visit to Porter Hills Village. “The first thing I asked was if I could help read to them,” says Ruth. Today, she lives at Porter Hills Village and is known as “Grandma Ruth” to a class of 3-year-olds who participate at the YMCA’s Generations Child Development Center located on-site. “You have to be flexible with 3-year-olds,” says Ruth with a laugh. “They don’t like to sit in one spot for long.”
Carol Gustavson and her husband, Bob, also volunteer at Generations. “The babies we rocked in the nursery are now in Kindergarten,” says Carol.
During their careers, Carol was a pediatric nurse and foster mom for newborns, and Ruth was a secondary English teacher. “I love to read to kids, tell them stories, and teach them nursery rhymes,” says Ruth. “No child can ever have too many grandparents.”
Danielle Vincent, Generations Program Director, agrees: “My favorite part of Generations is the connection with the residents of Porter Hills Village. It’s huge for the kids to know and be comfortable with older adults. I also love seeing the residents’ faces light up, especially our ‘grandmas’ and ‘grandpas’ who volunteer. They get to share and relive their stories with a new generation of children.”
The retirement community’s unique partnership with Generations has been “a great experience,” says Cheryl Van Bemden, Executive Director of Porter Hills Village, whose children spent time at the childcare center. “Generations has offered enriching, intergenerational experiences for children and our Porter Hills Village residents for the past 30 years! The kids visit all areas of our campus, and you can’t help but smile when you see them.”
Porter Hills Village will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its partnership with Generations at an event on August 26. To learn more about Porter Hills Village, visit https://mybrio.org/porter-hills-village/