Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The South Brunswick Senior Center

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.

This week’s cool idea is the Senior Center in South Brunswick, NJ, which partners with the local school district to conduct a number of intergenerational programs.

(Check our archives for parts 1-48.)

A highlight of the South Brunswick Senior Center’s partnership with the local school district is the Living Legacies project, an annual event that sees high schoolers and older adults collaborating for an original theatre performance.

Each year, the theme is different. Some past themes include veteran stories, immigration, and local history. The school gathers students and the senior center and their volunteer partner organizations to identify older adults within the township to participate.

They use the theme as the starting point for conversations and begin to meet regularly. Wonderful conversations are held, new things are learned, perspectives are shared, and a bond begins to form.

Older adults are interviewed by the high school students during their English classes.

The students then translate what they learned from all these interviews into monologues, turning them into a theatre performance piece presented at the senior center.

A reception follows, so seniors can then mingle with the students and discuss the show, which continues to foster the learning experience.

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. 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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