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Providence Mount St. Vincent on Aug. 16, 2018, will dedicate its outdoor courtyard to Dyke R. Turner, the architect whose passion and vision helped bring The Mount’s Intergenerational Learning Center (ILC) to life.
“Dyke had an amazing vision for what this could be – a place where children and seniors came together to play, sing, dance, work on projects, enjoy each other’s company and learn from each other,” said Molly Swain, executive director of the Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation. “Without Dyke’s vision and perseverance, I’m not sure our world-renowned childcare center would be what it is today.”
Turner, who died in December 2016, was one of the key visionaries behind The Mount’s effort to bring children and seniors together in a building that shares a license as both a childcare center and a nursing home. He not only grasped the concept but did the research and had the vision to make it happen.
The ILC this year celebrates its 27th year of smiles, wonder and magic, serving more than 1,000 children who have benefitted from the care and lessons learned in the daycare and preschool that runs in the middle of a home that serves elderly residents. Although the ILC is not unique (others exist elsewhere), it is incredibly special. Providence Mount St. Vincent was not only one of the first elder care facilities in the country to embrace the concept of serving youngsters and seniors in the same facility, but is also one of the longest-running programs.
Much of the success can be attributed to Turner’s work. Turner started an architectural firm in the 1980s to bring childcare centers to nursing homes. “We very quickly learned that children need their space; elders need their space too,” he said in a 2016 interview. “We looked at The Mount, analyzed all the spaces, opportunities, and planned out every nook and cranny within The Mount that could support any sort of ILC facility.”
Turner and his work partner Jennifer Chapman found that in addition to intentionally planning spaces for seniors and children to be together, something special happened when they spontaneously interacted. “Jennifer and I thought it was a great experiment because every time the residents would come in, the kids would stop, give high-fives, and look at what was going on. We discovered we should plan opportunities for kids and elders to come across each other accidentally. Sometimes it’s better than planned structured activities. Having things happen spontaneously was magic,” Turner said.
The courtyard/children’s playground will be dedicated at 5:15 p.m., followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m. Guests are also invited at 4 p.m. to view the documentary, “The Growing Season,” an hour-long film by West Seattle filmmaker Evan Briggs that focuses on the ILC at The Mount. The film has been distributed nationally through Tugg, allowing for easy distribution to interested audiences. The Dyke R. Turner ILC courtyard dedication will be held at Providence Mount St. Vincent, 4831 35th Ave. SW, Seattle. For more information contact Colleen Farrell at 206.938.6191 or email@example.com.
Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle offers older adults a loving and vibrant community during the transition from independence to increasing reliance on the services, support, and compassion of others. Internationally recognized as a leader in the practice of resident-directed care and culture change, The Mount is committed to providing programs and services that respect the personal values and dignity of each resident and program participant. For more information, go to www.providence.org/themount.