Monday, July 25, 2016

Bridges Program Curricula Suite

PHOTO: Courtesy of Bridges Together
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 Bridges Program Curricula Suite - a set of four ready-made intergenerational programs - to help communities unite older adults and children through shared experiences and cooperative learning.

(Check our archives for parts 1-82 | non-archived: 1, 2, 3,4, 5 and 6)

Over the past 25 years, nearly 15,000 members of bookend generations have been impacted by the Bridges program. The award-winning, evidence-based Bridges Program Curricula Suite unites older adults and children in their communities for shared experiences and cooperative learning.

Adults (generally aged 60+) volunteer in a classroom, library or community center once a week for several weeks. Under the guidance of the teacher or trained staff, the volunteers work in pairs to facilitate small groups of students for meaningful discussion and fun activities.

The Bridges Program Curricula Suite – a set of four ready-made intergenerational programs for communities who want a proven and complete curriculum— are based on human development theories.

Bridges: Our Stories, for preschoolers, uses picture books as the theme; Bridges: Growing Together, for elementary-aged youth, allows participants to explore family histories and cultural touchstones; Bridges: Our Smarts, for middle schoolers, explores the multiple intelligences theory using nature as the theme for each session; and Bridges: Lifelong Journeys, for high schoolers, lets participants delve into topics including recognizing one’s culture, understanding the lifespan, managing finances and using technology responsibly.  

To see a video showing the Bridges program in action as well as information on two webinars designed for people interested in bringing Bridges to their communities, click here.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Share the inspiration. 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!

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