Kendal at Oberlin Early Learning Center Earns National Award

Kendal at Oberlin Early Learning Center has been selected by Mather Institute as a 2023 Honorable Mention recipient of the Promising Practices Award. Now in its thirteenth year, this awards program recognizes organizations that are moving away from conventional practices by developing and implementing new and innovative approaches for older adults. Kendal Early Learning Center was chosen based on its unique programming designed to form closer bonds between older adults and preschoolers.

Intergenerational Programs Enrich the Lives of Older Adults

older woman reads to children outdoors

The Kendal Early Learning Center was chosen for the Promising Practices Award based on its unique programming designed to form closer bonds between older adults and preschoolers.

“The Promising Practices Award honors Kendal Early Learning Center for its person-centered intergenerational programming that enriches the lives of senior living residents and children by engaging in shared activities personalized to their interests,” said Cate O’Brien, PhD, VP and Director, Mather Institute. “The awards honor true leaders in innovation and implementation. We hope these award-winning projects will serve as a catalyst for organizations across the country and around the world to spark new ideas for enhancing the lives of older adults.”

The Early Learning Center is located within the Kendal at Oberlin life plan community, and routinely invites community residents to participate in meetups and join in activities of interest to them. Each meetup typically included five to seven older adults – called “grandfriends” — and the same number of children. A wide array of programming was offered, ranging from art and reading to yoga, cooking, and conversation time.

A full complimentary report on the 2023 Promising Practices recipients and honorable mentions is available for download at Nominations will open in April for the 2024 Promising Practices Awards, with a submission deadline in May.

About the Kendal Early Learning Center

The Kendal Early Learning Center is an NAEYC-accredited, 5-Star early childhood program. The Kendal at Oberlin campus is situated on over 100 wooded acres and is an accredited arboretum. The intergenerational programming at Kendal is nationally recognized. The center is currently enrolling children ages 3 to 5 years from Oberlin and the surrounding areas. To learn more, call Jeni Hoover at 440-775-9815. Please ask about Early Childhood Education grants that offer free or reduced tuition to families.

About Mather

Founded in 1941, Mather is a nondenominational not-for-profit organization based in Evanston, Illinois, that creates Ways to Age Well.SM Mather Institute is its research area of service, and serves as an award-winning resource for research and information about wellness, aging, trends in senior living, and successful aging service innovations. To learn more, find your way to

Discover How Kendal Brings Generations Together

Young people – college and high school students, and pre-school children – are part of every-day life for Kendal at Oberlin residents.