Michael Ortiz

Intergenerational Activities

"How about this one?" says Michael Ortiz, a small triangular arts sticker on an outstretched finger of his tattooed, 63-year-old hand. "Perfect," replies Carter S., accepting the green sticker on a 4-year-old finger stained with markers he’s using to create a colorful collage topped with a heart. Lively "Lion King" songs play on a speaker nearby.

It’s another day of intergenerational fun at the Pleasant Hill campus housing Adult Day Health Care, Michael’s program, as well as Choice in Learning, Carter’s preschool. Intergenerational activities like this bring both ends of the age spectrum together every few days.

"The main idea is to form a genuine bond of friendship," says Gina Velez, a preschool site director.

And the program is successful. Carter says his favorite parts of school are "going next door" to visit his friends in the adult day program and doing "outside art" projects.

Michael says he intends to continue making friends here, young and old, "as long as I’m happy — and I’m happy."

Intergenerational Activities help people see the best in each other, no matter what age.

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