Monday, March 02, 2015

The Central Oregon Council on Aging

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In the latest of series, we feature the Central Oregon Council on Aging (COCOA), an intergenerational tech training for older adults based in Bend, OR.

(Check our archives for parts 1-34.)

The COCOA developed and coordinates Teen Elder Computer Help (TECH), an intergenerational training class that teams teenagers with seniors to teach Facebook, digital camera download, cell phone and Skype.

This program helps seniors stay in contact with friends and family during a time when communication is transitioning to social networking.

Through this simple goal of connecting seniors to the social network, an exceptional intergenerational experience has developed for participating teenagers and seniors.

Several seniors shared World War II stories and pictures with the teens, and teen teachers shared Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter knowledge with their senior students.

This program has minimal administrative costs associated with coordinating volunteers and hosting a volunteer recognition event at the end of each session.

Computer time and facilities are donated through senior centers, libraries, schools or laptop classes at the COCOA office.

TECH’s goal is to reach 100 seniors each year at five sites and give 30 high school students an opportunity to experience teaching.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

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