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Intergenerational Education Initiative

Description: Cool Hat.JPGEvery age in life offers a unique perspective, different insights, and unique skills. Bringing people together across the age spectrum employs the strengths of each to help one another.

Thanks to a partnership with the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation, United Way has woven intergenerational programming into both the education and health initiatives.

The intergenerational education partners come together around the county to build opportunities for lifelong learning, leadership and civic engagement for all ages.

Partners are also creating asset maps to analyze where gaps in services exist and creating new collaborations (such as connecting college students with non-English speaking residents or teenagers to teach basic computing to seniors).

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Two Worlds Brought Together Though Stories

Pablo was not sure what to make of Mrs. Jones but he wanted to hear the words to the story in her hands. For Mrs. Jones, a retired teacher, this was about more than just reading. It was about exploring into the imagination of each child she met and help them discover the learner inside. Mrs. Jones, a volunteer reader in Mt. Vernon, started off the story about a caterpillar but soon broke off to ask Pablo “how many legs do you walk on Pablo?” he remained silent but held up his two feet. Mrs. Jones read some more “wow, he must be pretty hungry. If you could eat through food as big as a house, what would you eat? “ It only took Mrs. Jones a few more questions before Pablo and she are chatting away like long time friends.

This is the power of intergenerational programs. To bring together people of all ages and inspire life-long learning -- not just in the youth who are mentored but also in the mature adults who continue exploring and learning themselves.

Names and photos were changed to maintain confidentiality. Story inspired by
JCY-Westchester Community Partners.

Our 2013-2014 Intergenerational Education Initiative Partners:

  • JCY-Westchester Community Partners
  • New Rochelle Council of Community Services

For more information about our Community Impact programs contact Susan Schefflein, 914-997-6700 x753.

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