I was a preschool director in what I call my former life, pre-kids and we often took the kids to nursing homes for field trips. They would sing and bring treats and have a great time!!! But, what happens when you permanently put the two together is magical!
Evan Briggs is a filmmaker who spent 2012-2013 filming the Present Perfect. He took the entire school year to capture the relationships and characteristics that happened between the preschoolers at the Intergenerational Learning Center which was inside the Providence Mount St. Vincent Nursing Home in Seattle, WA.
Briggs explained that when the kids were not there the mood was somber but when they arrived the room lit up… “It was a depressing scene. 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 came alive.”
She shared that the moments between the kids and the nursing home residents were “sweet, some awkward, some funny, all of them poignant and heartbreakingly real.”
I know when I was a kid and went to visit my great grandmother a woman yelled at me that she wanted my red pants.. too me this was terrifying, I assume looking back on it she was making a joke.
Briggs hopes her film will open a conversation about aging in America. She writes on her Kickstarter, “Shooting this film and embedding myself in the nursing home environment also allowed me to see with new eyes just how generationally segregated we’ve become as a society. And getting to know so many of the amazing residents of the Mount really highlighted the tremendous loss this is for us all.”
She called the preschool a “genius” idea that is “well within our reach” on a larger scale and hopes the idea expands to other schools around the country. “It’s a great example of how we integrate the elderly into society.”