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intergenerational playgroup, australia

Connecting older adults with young children provides untold benefits for all.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are an integral part of many people’s lives. In some cultures, caring for your elderly relative within the home is expected but it’s not always feasible or even desirable for some families. Some elderly people want to maintain as much of their independence as possible and facilities can help them feel less alone and more active, especially as there are usually activities scheduled. Even with the activities and companionship of other residents, some older people can feel a bit lonely and disconnected without family nearby. That's why in Australia, an intergenerational playgroup is changing lives.


Chandani Ramasundara, who immigrated from Sri Lanka to Australia 10 years ago, came up with the idea of intergenerational playgroups. Ramasundara told ABC Australia, “People over here really loved their independent living, whereas in Sri Lanka we grew up in a multigenerational family environment so I thought these intergenerational playgroups would be a great idea to ease their isolation, get together, interact together, and play together.”

Every Monday, parents bring their children to play with the residents. The babies and toddlers have a special bond with their elderly friends. One of the moms in the group said she immigrated from Scotland and brings her baby to play with the residents as she doesn’t have her own family close by. Ramasundara hopes that the playgroup helps teach the kids to respect the elderly and that it helps the parents see the residents in a new light.

The residents of the home have their favorite children they interact with every Monday. One family that relocated makes sure to video chat for every playgroup to maintain the bond they built with one of the residents. This program is such a wonderful way to give the older people in the playgroup something to look forward to. In fact, one of the residents who rarely used to come out of his room now never misses a playgroup. Hopefully this idea catches on and other residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities get a chance to extend their family in such a wholesome way.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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Golden retriever has cutest reaction to sister walking.

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Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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