The Bridging Generations students visit their senior friends and work together on projects often related to the school's curriculum. Some of the activities have included: acrostic poems, Thanksgiving "thankful trees", family traditions, reminiscing about family life and work, sharing what the students are learning about colonial daily life, and arts and crafts.
The following are comments made by students who participated in the program:
- "I think that elderly people can be really cool. When I grow old, I want to be like them."
- "I think old people are smart because they have been in the world for a long time."
- "I saw people who are nice, kind and funny. Just because they're older, doesn't mean they're different."
- "Old people are nice because they tell you the answer to your question. I think old people are fun to listen to because they tell about the past."
- "Growing old is one more exciting stage in your life."
- "You could be old when you are 20 or 30 or any age if you act like it. They rock."
Seniors look forward to the visits with their student "buddies". Spending time with children, a rare occasion for most seniors living in long-term care facilities, is a special gift. Facility staff say that the seniors look forward to the arrival of the students and are uplifted and happy during and after the visit. The seniors have increased energy due to the positive social interactions and they talk about the children for days after every visit.
The following are comments made by seniors who participated in the program:
- "I enjoyed interacting with 5th graders. It was always very nice to hear their thoughts and opinions on various subjects. I would like to see this program continue next year."
- "I would be happy to see the children again next year but, oh, how I would like more time! Such a short time to fit in introductions, organizing our "plans" for the day and just "chatting" -----"
- "I (and we) loved our impromptu concert, because I sensed the children's feeling of pride and pleasure in their presentation and our joy in their presentation at the end of our all-too-short visit---can we do this more often?"
- "I did enjoy the visit of all the young people. My two students, so smart and eager to listen and talk. It made me feel good and happy to be among them. Hope you all come back again!"
- "I enjoyed the interaction with the children - since I've lived in "The Tam" my contact with children has drastically diminished and since all the children in my family are far away, I have missed them acutely!"
- "Please continue as this year was the second year and we are lucky to have the visits."
- "It was so nice to have them running in - happy to see us as we were to see them. What a joy!"
The positive feedback from all involved in the program provides continual evidence of the value of our Bridging Generations program.