Connecting Generations

Storylines delivers the Bridging the Gap, Intergenerational Memoir Writing Programs, that fosters cooperation, understanding and friendship between the generations through adult-centered activities. The programs affect youth's attitudes and understanding about aging and stereotypes and promotes feelings of self-worth for seniors.

Because of our age-segregated society, interactions between the young and old are diminishing. Intergenerational programs are developed to address some of these needs.

These programs will make a significant contribution to a community's or residence's health and vitality. As a result of the program, the seniors are perceived and appreciated in a new way -a person with a vibrant past.

Bridging the Gap programs can be implemented in any community where there is a sincere desire to link students with seniors, for the purpose of capturing the seniors' life stories.

Past Intergenerational Programs

To School and Back
This program engages as many seniors as possible in several fun school 'elective' programs within the local high school.

The students will visit the Bennett Centre, to share and compare past and present school curriculum and memories, and engage in discussions and activities with the seniors.
After several student visits to the Bennett Centre, the seniors will be invited back to attend the high school to: watch a play, have a tour of the woodworking shop, attend the cosmo for hair styling and nails before the high tea, sing with the choir in a school performance and watch a live basketball team.

Relationships will be built in the hopes that the seniors feel more connected to individual students and the community and the students have a better appreciation of the past and a friend(s) to visit.

Bridging the Gap - Stories and Language Arts
This project engages and brings together senior members of the Dufferin Arts Council and community seniors with grade-7 students in order for them to share culture and personal stories of the past and the present with each other. 

The seniors will assist and mentor the students in understanding the personal and historic past thru the language arts process of article writing. The students will produce memory albums for the senior partners.

Baking Together and Sharing our Stories
'Baking Together Intergenerational Program', brings grades 4 and 5 students, assisted by the older adults of Mountainview Home together to prepare, bake
and share stories while sampling the weekly baked goodies.

Keep it Strong - Intergenerational Elder Abuse Awareness Program
'Keep it Strong'is an intergenerational, interactive, life-story sharing project between older adults and grade-7 classes of the Milton Community. The purpose is to re-enforce the strong relationships that youth have with their grandparents and older adults of the community. The students and older adults observe and experience positive intergenerational (senior/youth) interactions and conversations that can be applied to their own lives. In addition the project sensitizes the youths attitudes towards aging, stereotypes, and seniors being taken advantage of - Elder Abuse. After many interviews, the youth produce and present memory albums to their senior partners.

Fitness Links Intergenerational Program
Fitness Links physically engages the youth and seniors from the Fergus area. Grade-7 students interact with the seniors with a focus on Fun, Physical Activity, Recreation, Healthy Eating and Mental Health promotion. All these activities assist in understanding ageism and stereotypes to reduce the discrimination surrounding the young and old in the community. Students and older adults participate in fitness classes together, learn about healthy snacks, and share personal stories and experiences with each other.

Community Service Thru the Generations - Past Informs the Present
This multi-denominational and multi-generational projects objective is to engage the seniors and youth in discussions on what 'Community Service' means, by sharing past and present experiences, insights, and understanding. Together the participants document the stories and create a multi-media production for the congregations and other community service organizations on what volunteering and community service means.

Memories and Music Intergenerational Program
This is a 2-phase intergenerational project where vocal high school students interview seniors and create songs and music based on their life stories. This program provides high school music students and seniors an opportunity to work together. Phase I- 'Memories', focuses on music students who learn how to interview, discuss and record the seniors stories, as resource material for lyrics and music composition. Phase II- 'Music Composition' engages the students to use these same stories and music preferences to write lyrics and compose song scores for their seniors. The songs then recorded and performed for the seniors and their families.

Bridging the Gap Intergenerational Memoir High School and Middle School Program Licensed Sites

Netherlands; Stamm CMO, Assen, Drenthe
Toronto; Copernicus Lodge and Long Term Care
Milton; Friends Landing - Adult Day Centre
Sudbury; Finlandia - Retirement Community
Peel; Alzheimer Society of Peel - Adult Day Centres
Georgetown; Halton Christian School
Guelph; Elliott Community and Retirement Home
Caledon/Bolton Library;
Orangeville:Dufferin Arts Council (DAC), Princess Margaret PS; St. Peters CS; Island Lake PS; Princess Elizabeth PS; Primrose PS;
Shelbourne: Shelbourne PS;
Oakville & Hamilton; Alzheimer's Society
Milton & Burlington; Seniors and Law Inforcement Together (SALT)
Georgetown; Georgetown Christian Reformed Church & St. John's United Church
Lindsay Ontario; St. Thomas Aquinas
Georgetown; Mountainview Retirement Home