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days a week, more than 400 adults living at the senior care center are coupled
with preschool aged children for music lessons, art, storytelling and fun. The
Intergenerational Learning Center received so much attention that it is now the
subject of a film called "Present Perfect" that was shot over the course of the
2012–2013 school year by Evan Briggs, an adjunct professor at Seattle
As you can imagine, the
presence of the tots transforms the ambience immediately. Briggs witnessed
such heartwarming moments that she says it demonstrates how interconnected we all
are, despite age differences.
"Moments before the kids came in, sometimes
the people seemed half alive, sometimes asleep. It was a depressing scene,"
Briggs said. "As soon as the kids walked in for art or music or making
sandwiches for the homeless or whatever the project that day was, the residents
Briggs' documentary captures
the subtle influences both generations have on each other. She hopes her film
will trigger a conversation about aging in America because she believes we have
become generationally segregated as a society.
Parents whose children are enrolled
in the class report this model has benefits that go beyond their children being
influenced by stellar teachers.
"One father told me that
he especially sees it now that his own parents are aging," Briggs said.