Thursday, April 14, 2016

It's.....a Baby!: An Intergenerational Baby Shower in Somerville.

Somerville Family Learning Collaborative/Council on Aging Intergenerational Baby Shower!

Eager voices filled the community room at the Somerville Council on Aging on Tuesday, April 5.  Joint planning between Somerville Family Learning Collaborative of the Somerville Public Schools (SFLC) and Cindy Hickey, Director of the Council on Aging led the first intergenerational baby shower that was enjoyed by over 60 city residents. This event brought together new or expectant parents and older adults in the community to celebrate the journey of parenthood, build community, connect generations, and provide information about community resources.  Attendees represented a microcosm of Somerville, ranging in age from infants to octogenarians, coming from countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas, sharing stories about coming to the United States and living in Somerville. 

The new Somerbaby Project was introduced by David Blumsack from the Somerville Kiwanis Club, which provided start-up funding.  This new initiative focuses on welcoming Somerville newborns by providing their parents with welcome bags full of information, resources and connections. Elders made or donated baby clothing and supplies, and brought wonderful food to share. The Council on Aging provided a generous, hot meal for everyone.  Liza Kitchell entertained the crowd with songs to sing and move to.  The Beautiful Stuff Project supplied blank books and collage materials for young and old guests to design and create their own memory books. Katey Duchin, a graduate student at the SFLC from the Boston University School of Social work, organized and solicited donations to provide multiple gifts, from diapers and clothing to toys, for each family. Representatives from the Cambridge Health Alliance and Women Infants and Children (WIC) distributed resources and materials.  
We hope this becomes a tradition in Somerville and look forward to the next shower!