Madison Senior Center members are pursuing Intergenerational Programming, a mutually beneficial initiative for the older individuals to share skills, such as fine arts, with children . . . and vice versa. CONTRIBUTED

Different generations share talents at Senior Center

MADISON – Madison Senior Center has launched an activity that will be mutually beneficial to older citizens and youth. Both generations will interact to demonstrate skills that each age group can learn.

“Intergenerational programming or IGP is a service that allows older and younger generations to share talents and resources that benefit each other in an organized event, creating a sense of community and friendships,” Rachael Burrus said. Burrus works as Program Coordinator at Madison Senior Center.

In an initial intergenerational session, the center’s ceramics department hosted nine children from the American Heritage Girls Troop and their siblings, along with their Troop Mother Ali Fields. When they arrived, the children received a five-minute tour.

“We explained that the center is like a fun clubhouse for senior citizens, offering exercise, educational classes and field trips, as well as hosting holiday parties,” Burrus said.

“It’s important for children to know what we do here and that senior life can be exciting and fun,” Burrus said. Throughout the one-hour event, each child received personal instruction from a senior citizen that currently attends the ceramics class at the center.

“It was wonderful to interact with the children and to share my love and knowledge of painting ceramics,” center member Sue S. said.

“I loved the time with the children,” another member, Margo C., said. “It gave me joy and rejuvenated me.”

“As Madison Senior Center plans to move into the renovated Madison Community Center next fall, the possibilities for intergenerational programming is endless,” Burrus said. “Today’s event was a huge success, and it’s just the beginning. IGP is about community and that is the goal of the senior center . . . bringing people together.”

Vicki K., the center’s ceramics instructor, said she enjoyed the time with the children. “They were attentive and listened well to instruction, and we are already planning to have them back in the spring.”

Concerning the intergenerational programming, Burrus has been wanting to offer sessions like this one at the center that would require members to get involved with the community. “When we move to the new facility in 2024, we will have more room to offer a variety of intergenerational programming, such as cooking, sewing, billiards, exercise, jewelry making and more.”

“We’ve had a handful of seniors to partner up with the Arise to Read program, which has senior citizens assist second-graders one day a week and help them to read at Harvest Elementary School,” Burrus said.

Madison Senior Center’s address is 1282 Hughes Road. Levoneia Ayers is director of the center.

For information, call 256-772-6242, email SeniorCenterInfo@madisonal.gov or visit Facebook/Madison City Senior Center.

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