Generations Unite: Partnership seeks to put preschool and senior care facility under same roof

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ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC)- A program to bring a preschool to Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline is moving a step further. Monday, the Rock Island County Board agreed to partner with the Regional Office of Education to bring the program to our area. Regional Superintendent, Tammy Muerhoff, said the benefits would be two-fold.

"The goal would be to provide opportunities for young children and for older adults, to have interactions throughout the day," Muerhoff said. "To have an awareness of the aging process, to have opportunities to interact with adults, to hear their stories about their lives."

A similar program in Seattle, Washington first sparked Muerhoff's interest in the concept. The program would be open to at-risk children ages three to five. The preschool would be located inside of the Hope Creek Care Center and include activities and interaction with many of the residents. County Administrator, Dave Ross, hopes the inter-generational collaboration will benefit both the children and seniors.

"This could potentially even reinforce more positive role-models in their life, so I think having that positive role model, whether they've got it at home, or not it certainly shouldn't ever be a bad thing to have that reinforced."

Those interested in taking part in the program must apply, before being accepted. The program would be paid for through early childhood block grant funds, allowing children to attend the preschool at no cost. Officials are still waiting on grant approval in order to move forward with program planning.