The following publications are relevant to Bridges Together work and/or general intergenerational programming:
“Making Connections: The Legacy of an Intergenerational Program” by Edward H. Thompson, Jr., PhD, and Andrea J. Weaver, MA in The Gerontologist, (advance publication) July 2015
“Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver in Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, June 2014
“Why We Need Intergenerational Programs” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, 2014
“Multiple Intelligences or Smarts Theory” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, 2014
“Socio-Emotional Human Development Theory” by Monica Romig, Spring 2014
Intergenerational Programs: Past, Present and Future by Sally Newman
The following movies feature intergenerational themes. We welcome your recommendations as well; please send ideas to Info@BridgesTogether.org.
Movies for Children
Movies for Adults
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- Generations United is the national organization dedicated to intergenerational (IG) efforts. Generations United’s mission is “to improve the lives of children youth and older people through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit for all.” Its weekly newsletter is very informative and includes information on IG efforts as well as grant and learning opportunities. More information is available at GU.org.
- American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY®) is dedicated to “addressing the issues surrounding the silent, vulnerable and hidden population, conservatively estimated to exceed 1.4 million children, who provide care for family members who are unable to manage life independently.” The AACY® mission is “to increase awareness about the effects on children who provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly and/or disabled while fostering the replication of the Caregiving Youth Project model within Florida and the US; to provide direct and indirect support services for caregiving youth and their families; and, to establish the Institute on Youth Caregiving.” More information is available at AACY.org.
- Jumpstart is a national early education organization that trains volunteers to implement a targeted language and literacy curriculum in preschool classrooms. Jumpstart’s Community Corps program was created 11 years ago to leverage the expertise and dedication of older adults looking to make a difference in their communities. Jumpstart volunteers develop strong relationships with children, fostering their academic and social-emotional skills. The Boston program currently serves classrooms in South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.
Old Programming Page
Intergenerational Reading Opportunities
Eugene’s Unsuspecting Journey is a meaningful intergenerational tale composed of whimsical illustrations, strong characters, and important values. Eugene eagerly engages in a relationship with an older farmer who provides him with lessons and inspiration. The farmer in turn gets to share his wisdom with the young boy, who otherwise, might not have learned the notion of purpose. This touching children’s story can be shared by all ages and is a wonderful read for intergenerational companions. .
My Grandma Loves to Play; Loving,
Dear tiny angels, slippery tadpoles, and sugar bears everywhere! When I was little (just about your age), I visited my grandparents in New Bedford, Massachusetts for summer vacations. Grandma always had fun lessons waiting for us “city kids” She brushed our hair, ironed our underwear, and hung the laundry on the clothesline while holding clothespins in her mouth!
This story by Leo Buscaglia is a warm, wonderfully wise and strikingly simple story about a leaf names Freddie. How Freddie and his companion leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.
The Keeping Quilt tells the story of a handmade quilt. Using an outgrown dress, a babushka brought from Russia, an uncle’s shirt, one aunt’s apron and another aunt’s nightgown, Anna’s mother creates a quilt for her daughter’s bed that lovingly binds six generations together.
The Blessing Cup is a companion piece to The Keeping Quilt. The Blessing Cup recounts Great-Grandmother Anna’s life in Russia, her family’s immigration to America as a result of the pogroms in Russia, and the Blessing Cup which the family lovingly brought to their new home first on 10th Avenue in New York City and then to Union City, Michigan. The Blessing Cup helped the family across multiple generations not only to remember their heritage, but also to know God’s blessings.
In These Hands, a grandfather and his grandson explore their evolving manual dexterity. The child marvels at his increased ability to use his hands together. Conversely, while the grandfather’s manual dexterity has lessened with age, his younger hands did help him to change life for his grandson.
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge recounts the adventures of Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, a toddler, who lives “next door to an old people’s home.” That proximity enables each generation to enrich the other’s lives.
A Gift for Tia Rosa helps the young reader to understand that a deceased person lives on in the skills which he/she has taught to someone else. Tia Rosa taught Carmela, her grandniece, to knit and when Carmela knits she immortalizes Tia Rosa with every “around, over, through, and pull.”
Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don’t always get along, that’s true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her interesting stories and family recipes. It’s easier to remember what’s important about love, life, and friendship while Granny Torrelli makes soup.
Skilled Reader/Young Adult
You’re Smarter Than You Think; A kid’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences presents Dr. Howard Gardner’s innovative theory on how people learn. Gardner has theorized that people not only acquire knowledge in multiple ways, but that they also demonstrate their intelligence in multiple ways. One’s intelligence is not just demonstrated in good grades and IQ scores. It also is shown when one draws, plays musical instruments, swims, is interested in and sensitive to others, is aware of the environment etc. Learning about the eight different intelligences; discovering which intelligences best suit your learning style; and then using your intelligences to be more successful in life will enable the reader to recognize that he/she may be smarter than his/her GPA suggests.
Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression. Once again Christopher Paul Curtis, author of the award-winning novel The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963, takes readers on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey.
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.
The Sweetness of Forgetting introduces the reader to Hope McKenna-Smith, a Cape Cod baker, and to her grandmother, Mamie. Mamie also is a baker and her French pastries are the mainstay of the bakery which Hope now manages because Mamie has begun to drift into the “haze of Alzheimer’s.” Their close bond enables Mamie to share her past memories with Hope and for Hope to learn some wonderful secrets about previous generations of her family.
The Ride of Our Lives is a laughable account of a cross-country odyssey that humorist Mike Leonard, made with his parents, three grown sons, and a daughter-in-law. During that journey, Marge and Jack, Mike’s parents, share their whimsical view of life and times, while Mike shares how it was to grow up in their household.
From New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani comes her beloved Valentine trilogy, now available in one volume for the first time. The eBook collection includes Very Valentine, Brava, Valentine, and The Supreme Macaroni Company.
New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank is back home in the Carolina lowcountry, spinning a tale that brims with the warmth, charm, heart, and humor that has become her trademark. Porch Lights is a stirring, emotionally rich multigenerational story—a poignant tale of life, love, and transformation—as a nurse, returning to Sullivans Island from the Afghanistan War, finds her life has been irrevocably altered by tragedy…and now must rediscover love and purpose with the help of her son and aging mother.
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Facilitators can help you plan, launch, and execute an intergenerational program in your own community.
Bridges Together provides this service (email info@BridgesTogether.org), as do several other organizations in our region. Here are a few:
Between the Lines Poetry
Between the Lines Poetry offers an intergenerational poetry program in which high school students and older adults meet for six weeks to read and discuss poetry relevant to both age groups. Our lively and spirited discussion focuses on personal responses to a poem rather than trying to extract the meaning of the poem. Each student is paired with one or two older adults, and they work closely together thoroughout the six weeks so the relationships can develop; several friendships have continued beyond the time spent in the program. For more information, visit betweenthelinespoetry.com or contact Patti Russo at email@example.com.
Family Stories through Art
Did you know that children lose early memories by the age of 7 or 8? But if a caring adult weaves those memories into story, children retain the stories even though they have lost the actual memories (Emory University). In this workshop, grandparents and grandchildren strengthen family bonds by together using simple collage techniques and writing to transform one of their family stories into a beautiful book. Instructor scans, edits, and prints the first book, and prepares a file so participants can print more copies for family members. For more information, visit sharonsantillo.com, or contact Sharon Santillo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-299-1768.
Sages & Seekers
The Sages & Seekers eight-week program is designed to bring high school or university students together with older adults, engaging these young adults in a thoughtful examination of how life is lived and how personal challenges are overcome—powerful inspiration as they are beginning to build their own sense of identity and personal independence. More open to learning from adults outside of their families, the younger generations can be guided by impartial, yet caring adults who can be more accepting of who they are and the choices they are considering. This program builds writing, listening, public speaking and interviewing skills, but more importantly develops empathy in a generation dominated by technology. For seniors, this program allows them to feel more relevant, less isolated and invisible, as well as to engage in a valuable “life review.” For more information, visit sagesandseekers.org or contact Elly Katz at email@example.com or 508-444-8821.
Music & Memory
Music & Memory is a nonprofit organization that uses personalized music to help improve the quality of life of older adults living in nursing homes and other settings. Currently in over 1,400 facilities across the nation, Music & Memory combines the talent and skills of young individuals with technology, while helping older adults reconnect with the world around them. For more information, visit musicandmemory.org or contact Alexis Gregos, Music & Memory outreach coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.