Inspired by Something Good Going On…
Needing something to make you feel good about the state of our society? Look no further than LeadingAge and its more than 6,000 members. This national organization is the largest association of nonprofit aging services organizations in the country. Its mission is to be “the trusted voice for aging” and its vision is “an America freed from ageism.” These values were on full display at the organization’s recent annual conference in Philadelphia, which took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from October 28-31, 2018.
At the conference, compassion was the feeling that ruled—in the sessions and on the expo floor. Presenters, attendees, and exhibitors all demonstrated a true commitment to providing seniors with the best possible lifestyle…whether it’s in the furniture, shoes, or clothing they design; the architectural details they incorporate into buildings; the foods they prepare and serve; the transportation they provide; the health, accounting, and legal services they give; or the activities they create. The 8,000 people in attendance were diverse yet similar in one important way. Everyone believes seniors deserve the best we can give.
A New Opportunity
This year, LeadingAge’s massive expo floor featured an extra dose of (Kindermusik) purple, and the sounds of children’s music could be heard emanating from one especially cheerful booth. You might ask what a children’s music company was doing at a conference devoted to senior services and communities. A valid question. As you know, for the past 40 years, we at Kindermusik have been focused on the opposite end of the age spectrum—on birth through age 7—and have worked tirelessly to bring the highest quality music and movement programs to studios, schools, and parents all over the world. What brought us to LeadingAge was that same passion and commitment, but channeled in a new direction: we are debuting an exciting intergenerational program called Bridges. (Read more about the how this program came to be here.)
We were thrilled to introduce Bridges to the LeadingAge community and were delighted to see the program embraced by the people who stopped by our booth. They truly understood what we are hoping to accomplish—to bring joy and purpose to seniors, and fun and learning to the children who share this experience with them. The positive response we received only strengthened our conviction that Bridges is truly something special.
Adding to our excitement was the fact that our very own Carol Penney, Kindermusik’s legendary curriculum developer, educator, and trainer, was honored as one of ten “Living Legends” through LeadingAge’s Words from the Wise initiative. Carol was recognized for her volunteerism in championing and piloting Bridges after witnessing how her husband Carl, who has Alzheimer’s disease, responded to musical interactions with his young grandson. Carol’s photo and story were on display in the LeadingAge expo hall and in the courtyard of Philadelphia’s City Hall, as part of Leading Age’s Public Ageism Exhibit. We are so proud of her and this program!
If you were at LeadingAge, you may have heard this Kindermusik song echoing across the expo floor; those of us who were in the booth can’t get it out of our heads. Fortunately, it’s a good one, and we think it will add a skip to your step today. So here’s to new beginnings, making connections, and building Bridges.