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A group of residents at Ecumen Lakeshore in Duluth are regularly volunteering at Little Treasures Childcare and Family Center, being “grandfriends” to babies and toddlers. And both the kids and the elders love the arrangement.
That was the plan three years ago when Ecumen teamed up with Little Treasures—which serves at-risk children-- to create an inter-generational program to foster the healthy development of children and increase the quality of life of older adults. At the time, Little Treasures needed a permanent home, and Ecumen had some unfinished extra space at Lakeshore that was converted into the daycare center with donations from local civic organizations, individuals and foundations.
The site opened in 2011 and now Lakeshore residents routinely rock babies and read to toddlers.
The Northland’s NewsCenter recently featured the program, which is run by the Duluth YMCA. Click here to see the video and read the story on how the younger and older generations are boosting each other’s spirits.