Bright Futures is both “new” and “old”, according to Alan Popp, President & CEO of Bright Futures and the Foundation. Although it is newly formed as a nonprofit corporation, there has been childcare in the Mason Wright building since it opened in 1999. For the past thirteen years, the center was owned and operated by Arbors Kids, a for-profit whose lease expired December 31, 2017.
The entire administrative and teaching staff of sixteen transitioned to Bright Futures from Arbors Kids, including Center Director Deb Stasiowski, who has served as director for the past five years.
Popp explained why the Foundation, which has provided assisted living to seniors for more than 100 years, would create its own childcare program. “Intergenerational programming is fundamental to the quality of life we provide for Mason Wright residents. Whether the children are making crafts side-by-side with residents, playing outdoors while residents watch them or we are all singing together, the joy it brings to our residents is incredible. Interactions with children help relieve depression, stimulate activity and the feeling of overall well-being in older adults.”
Intergenerational programming benefits the children, too, according to Stasiowski, who has worked as a teacher and administrator in child care for more than fifteen years. She explained that in today’s world, children often lack attention from older adults. Activities with older adults often settle childhood anxieties, provide a sense of safety and security, and stimulate creative expression.”
For enrollment information, families can visit http://choosebrightfutures.org or call 413- 734-6300.