Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Intergenerational Pen-Pal Program

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 Intergenerational Pen-Pal Program in Ohio, which fosters friendships between younger and older generations by pairing a class of third graders with attendees at a local senior center.

(Check our archives for parts 1-57.)

The students from Union Elementary School learned how to write letters and the value of friendships with older adults, while allowing older adults to bond with youth and keep their minds active.

In their letters, the third graders asked Fairhaven residents questions and shared the details of their lives: school field trips, visits to relatives, soccer games.

Many of the pen-pals developed friendships that outlasted the school year and a few still keep in touch.

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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