classrooms are filled with children who will enjoy an unprecedented
longevity. Many of these students will live into their eighties,
nineties, or beyond. They will be surrounded by other community
members who will also be experiencing longer life spans. This
aging population will have an effect on every aspect of our
well prepared are these youngsters for taking advantage of their opportunity for
long life? How will they deal with the challenges posed by the aging of their
answers will depend on how we respond to the need for education about aging.
is essential for children to develop positive attitudes toward older people and
aging. Frequent interaction with older people can help children understand the
different roles we accept as we age and grow.
our mobile society frequent contact between generations may be difficult or impossible.
Older and younger generations become separated when families relocate for jobs.
Older family members may retire and move to another region. Many young people
are deprived of contact with older generations and do not benefit from the experiences
their elders might share with them. Where circumstances have severed family links,
intergenerational programs can create new ones.
role models can help students become greater contributors to their communities.
Children can become more responsible citizens through programs designed to demonstrate
the value of older persons. Writing and speaking skills can be improved through
contact and correspondence with older adults. Seniors, who may have become physically
distant from their families, gain a sense of contributing to their community when
they serve as volunteers working with children who need them. |
can expose their students to the subject of aging by having older and younger
people working together in learning activities. By promoting intergenerational
education, schools respond to the needs of the larger community and strengthen
program described in this guide was designed to bring schools and communities
together and allow younger and older persons to learn from each other. While the
guide is geared toward younger students (Grades K-3), its content can easily
be adapted for use in older grade levels. |
on the navigational menu to the left will take the reader
to pages containing resources and materials for conducting
an intergenerational project in a classroom environment. The
materials provided include:
program guide for the teacher or project leader;
- A list
of suggested children's books with an intergenerational theme;
to additional internet resources; and
- A case
study of the Grandbuddies Project as conducted in an actual
Images © Patricia Knox
and The Franklin Institute. All rights are reserved.