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Boca Raton Estate Planning & Probate Blog

Friday, September 14, 2018

Combining Preschoolers and Elders Creates Love and Self-Worth

Filmmaker Evan Briggs has decided to expose the beauty of living in the present, all from the perspective of preschoolers and senior citizens. In her documentary“ Present Perfect”, Briggs exposes aging in America; both growing up and growing old. Regardless of the amount of life experience the two, seemingly disparate, groups have, both toddlers and elders have this amazing way of only focusing on living in the present.

Years ago, Evan Briggs discovered a preschool was situated inside a senior center, located in West Seattle. Both the toddlers and elders interact on a daily basis, creating an Intergenerational Learning Center. Briggs spent the 2012-2013 school year filming inside the center, later releasing a trailer as part of a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising money for post-production. The trailer displays the loving and life-affirming interactions between both groups. In one scene, you see a senior resident reaching down and stroking a toddler’s hair. In another, the two groups work together to place sandwiches into plastic bags for the homeless. “It’s so amazing and beautiful,” As Briggs explains, both the toddlers and elders really need each other.

The two learn from each other, also. The elderly develop a new sense of self-worth from the children that bring joy to their lives, while the toddlers learn about growing older and accepting those with disabilities. Unconditional love is granted to the children by the elders, warming our hearts and showing us that we have so much to offer others. 

With this film, Briggs hopes to create more discussion on implementing intergenerational models around the world. Fortunately, it looks like this movement isn’t limited to one home in West Seattle. Intergenerational programs already exist at 500 facilities across the country, and there has been a huge response to the trailer from families looking to enroll in the program and others hoping to gain insight on how to create the model in their own communities.

Briggs is excited to see the idea resonating with people because there is no reason this model cannot be imitated across all nations. “I’m not trying to paint this rosy, utopian picture,” she explained in a recent interview. “It is wonderful but it’s real at the same time, and we all need to understand what that looks like and really face it heads-on.”


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