Seniors, Preschoolers Celebrate Read Across America

Seniors, Preschoolers Celebrate Read Across America

Doug Nagley reads aloud from Horton Hears a Who to children at Hope Preschool in Ashburn. It was the first time Nagley had read the Dr. Seuss classic, and the first time many of the children had heard it.

Doug Nagley knows you’re never too old to learn something new.

On Feb. 28, Nagley read Horton Hears a Who for the first time, sharing the classic Dr. Seuss book with a group of eager children at Hope Preschool in Ashburn. A future resident at Waltonwood Ashburn senior living home, Nagley said he was as excited for the opportunity to read the book for the first time as the preschoolers were to hear it.

“When you get to be my age, you try to socialize as much as you can and there’s nothing better than socializing with children,” Nagley said.

Waltonwood partnered with Hope Preschool as part of its larger efforts to integrate future residents with their community. Set to open in October, the new 214-unit senior living center in Ashburn is looking to not just provide residents a place to live, but a chance to give back to future generations.

“There’s a lot of people moving in from out of town, and there’s a lot of people who can’t see grandma or grandpa, so having an intergenerational program for the kids to have something like an adopted grandparent is a great program that we’re hoping to have on a consistent basis,” said Waltonwood Executive Director Justin Roberts.

The reading is part of the larger annual Read Across America week of celebrations, which is commemorated each year during the week of Seuss’ March 2 birthday. At Hope Preschool, senior citizens read to the children from several of Seuss’ books while wearing the iconic hats from The Cat in the Hat.

“We thought it would be a great chance for them to share some stuff with us, and the kids to share some stuff with them,” said Hope Assistant Director Connie Williams. “It bridged the age gap a little bit, and the kids were really excited and looking forward to it. It was a very pleasant experience for everyone.”