ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A new intergenerational reading partnership between residents of The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay and preschoolers from Temple Beth-El started its first chapter April 15th when a group of residents representing each Fountains neighborhood (independent living, assisted living and memory care) traveled to the nearby preschool and took turns reading to the attentive students.
Before the readings, the visitors were welcomed to celebrate Friday Shabbat in the Temple with the kids and staff. Then, boys and girls sat eagerly on the floor and listened to residents Diane Huntress, Shirley Cassidy, Kathryn Badalucco, Rose Parker and Mary Borries, current librarian of The Fountains, read books selected by the Early Childhood Center Director, Randi Nash-Ortiz, who has been with Temple Beth-El for 10 years. She is the contact coordinator for Book Buddies. The books included Max Makes a Cake by Michelle Edwards, The Littlest Levine by Sandy Lanton and Claire Keay, Is It Passover Yet? by Chris Barash, and Dayenu by Miriam Latimer.
“We never get to spend time with children anymore, and I know we will always go home with our hearts full,” said Parker.
“It was hands down wonderful,” said Melissa Goodnow, who initiated “Book Buddies” on behalf of The Fountains as part of its lifelong learning curriculum. “We are all looking forward to a long relationship with this preschool.”
The intergenerational reading program will continue every third Friday of each month.
Visits by the preschoolers to the St. Petersburg retirement community are also in the works.
About The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay
The Fountains at Boca Ciega Bay, 1255 Pasadena Avenue South, is an active, full-service rental community overlooking the bay, with on-site care available. It is proudly managed by Watermark Retirement Communities. Long respected as one of the nation’s leading seniors’ housing innovators, Watermark is committed to creating extraordinary communities where people thrive. For more information, visit www.watermarkcommunities.com.