Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Legacy Book Projects

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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.

Legacy Books is an intergenerational project that brings Baltimore's young and old together to produce e-books. The older adults share their stories that student capture and put online.

"We find that the combination of youth with tech knowledge and elders with stories is a match made in heaven," said Beatrice Odom Scott, founder of the Legacy Books project and a digital publishing consultant. "We have a number of Legacy Book projects in Baltimore including the ZHAP program at the Zeta Center and at local schools."

Young and old working together to capture and share stories has been good for restoring dignity and self-value for many families, especially those from disadvantaged communities.

But Annette Saunders, of Baltimore Grandfamilies PTSA, noted that the project offers something else.

"The books have become family treasures," she explained. "Two of the grandparents [who participated] have died, and both families expressed how glad they are to have the story books."

Annette also cherishes her own.

"My husband and I made one for our first grandson," she explained, adding that the first grader enjoys reading their story from cover to cover.

Annette hopes to get funding for another group of grandfamilies - those from Sandtown, Park Heights and Poplar Grove - what she calls three of the cities "really challenging communities."

Annette sings the Legacy Book project's praises wherever she goes. Of her experience, she added: "It is so rewarding!"

Contact Beatrice O. Scott for more info on Legacy Books.

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