Intergenerational day camp at Mid Coast Senior Health a win-win

Residents of Mid Coast Senior Health, students from Brunswick High School and children of Mid Coast Senior Health employees came together for a special intergenerational event on Feb.21.

The inaugural “Senior Health Day Camp” was held at Mid Coast Senior Health, allowing employees to bring their children to work with them for a day.

“It can be challenging for employees to secure childcare during school vacations, so we are trying this as a pilot program,” said Kim Watson, administrator of Mid Coast Senior Health. “In addition to supporting our employees, our residents thoroughly enjoy intergenerational activities, so this is an opportunity to provide something that benefits our employees and residents alike.”

Watson added that in the future, Mid Coast Senior Health would like to continue offering intergenerational programs during school vacations, and stressed the importance of community partnerships in making events like the day camp a success.

The children joined Senior Health residents for a full day of activities, most of which were planned and run by Brunswick High School students, who made the event possible. In addition to a trivia competition and a scavenger hunt in the morning, participants also played less formal games, such as cornhole, in the afternoon.

“It’s been nice working with the residents,” said Hazel Harris, whose mother, Aubree Harris, is director of nursing at Mid Coast Senior Health.

The camp served a three-fold purpose: to provide an opportunity for residents to interact with local young people; to help Brunswick High School students achieve their required community service hours; and to provide a day of childcare to Mid Coast Senior Health employees during Maine school vacation week.

Amy Hartwell-Wyman had her husband Jeremy, who also works at Mid Coast Senior Health, and her 10-year-old son Kaleb at work with her on Thursday. She said she thinks finding day care is a common issue for workers in health care, and the Day Camp event was helpful.

“I think it’s tip-top,” Hartwell-Wyman said. “It sets us apart from other organizations.”

Mid Coast Senior Health comprises the Assisted Living at Thornton Hall, Memory Care at The Garden, Rehabilitation at Bodwell, and Long-Term Care at Mere Point communities.

Hope Haug, a resident of Mid Coast Senior Health, enjoyed the event, saying it was “wonderful.”

United Way 20th annual Read Aloud reaches thousands

Mid Coast community volunteers read to over 3,000 area children in elementary school classrooms and childcare sites in 19 towns from Waldoboro to Brunswick on March 1, when the 20th annual event was held.

United Way’s annual Community Read Aloud celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday and organizes hundreds of volunteers to share their love of reading with young children.

Volunteer Barbara Tuttle, from Bath Savings Institution, said, “This is my second year participating in this great program and I feel fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to reach out to young children to talk about importance and joy of reading.”

Bath Savings Institution was again the lead provider of Read Aloud volunteers, with 20 employees volunteering for the community event. Readers from Damariscotta Bank and Trust, Wayfair, Bath Iron Works, and Midcoast Federal Credit Union also participated.

Many local city employees, including police and fire department employees, and city and town managers, also took part. Bath City Manager Peter Owen said, “It is important that we all promote literacy and encourage young children to read. They are the leaders and teachers of tomorrow and reading takes them beyond the limits of their imagination.”

Brunswick High School student Jenna Roane participates in an activity with Mid Coast Senior Health residents during an intergenerational day camp program held in February.

Bath City Manager Peter Owen reads to children at Dike Newell School in Bath on the 20th annual Community Read Aloud hosted by the United Way.