This week Awesome Stories brings you day-care in a senior center, learning with music, connecting with poetry, magical music and solar innovation.
Power to the People!
I love this idea. Providence Mount St. Vincent, a senior care facility in Seattle, Washington has added daycare to their programs. Now the seniors and kids can participate in multi-generational learning. The hope is that all ages will benefit, and the interactions help the seniors be more socially connected. Many people, and especially the elderly, are socially isolated, contributing to depression. Having isolated more in the last few years, I can attest to how easy it is to slip into despair. Present Perfect is a film exploring the interactions of these two groups.
Researchers are finding that music does more for helping children develop than even reading. University of Queensland researchers studied the effects of informal music making with kids compared to reading, both separately and together. They found music benefits children most strongly in social behavior, attention regulation and to a lesser extent, math. The key seems to be shared music making with children and parents. It’s intriguing to me that music can help children develop mentally and socially. I wonder if music-hour will eventually replace bed-time stories and story-hour in kindergarten? Or maybe we can keep both, along with the creative arts!
This might be the most heart-warming story I’ve found in a long time. And, 60 Minutes did a great job in how they presented it in their show. Derek Paravicini is a master musician with an amazing twist. He was born prematurely causing severe mental and physical challenges. With Derek’s severe autism, there wasn’t much hope for a decent life. But then he discovered music and has blossomed. Under compassionate tutoring by Adam, Derek has blossomed into a musical savant. His level of music mastery keep growing and amazing audiences. The best part for me is how his music seems to be a gateway for both Derek and his audience to communicate and grow. Watch the video for the rest of the story!
The fun part of this story isn’t really the solar innovation, but the fact that it comes from a 13-year-old boy. Aidan Dwyer found inspiration in nature; noticing that trees seem to grow in a pattern called the Fibonacci sequence. He confirmed the growth pattern and wondered if solar collecting might be more efficient by modeling the growth of trees. After building and testing his own solar tree, the results show efficiency gains from 20 to 50% over traditional solar panels! His innovative idea has won him a Young Naturalist Award and interest from solar companies to use his ideas. Pretty wonderful for 13 years old!
The Power of Poetry!
This is a touching story about Jacqueline Suskin and how her poetry helped save a forest! For the last 4 years, Jacqueline has offered on-demand poetry at the local farmer’s market for donations. Through her poetry, she connected to many new people, including a surprising one. Like many people in Northern California, she feels strongly about the forest and preserving the environment, but Jacqueline observed that all the sit-ins, demonstrations, etc were not changing any attitudes or behaviors with the logging companies. Enter Neal Ewald, the Senior Vice President of Green Diamond Resource Company. She wrote Neal a poem per his request, which led to them talking, sharing and even becoming friends through poetry and open communication. Ultimately, this led to collaboration on a permaculture project and creating a Public Trust for a large track of forest. I love how Jacqueline’s open posture and desire to serve led to genuine conversation, collaboration and change.
May the powers of music, poetry and collaboration help us find innovative ways to live in peace.