Andrea’s Reflections: The Art of Pie Making, aka The Art of Intergenerational Programming

This week, we received a call from a leading intergenerational organization. Their graduate student fellow was running into roadblocks trying to unite a preschool classroom with a community luncheon program. Our conversation started with a discussion of evaluation methods but quickly turned into a dialogue about the best practices of uniting generations. I referred her to what we think of as our “secret sauce”: Bridges Together’s Recipe for Intergenerational Success is an easy-to-use template that anyone can utilize to design an intergenerational event with any sort of theme. Take a look: All you do is plug in information, like in this sample template. (In fact, it’s what makes Bridges Together stand apart in the intergenerational field!) We quickly designed a one-time luncheon program.

Making pies – anyone can do it, right? You just follow the recipe, mixing the ingredients and rolling it out. (Easy as pie!) Of course, there is the Epicurean Feast recipe and the Betty Crocker recipe. Hold on! It’s not that easy to get a flaky, golden-brown crust, is it?

There is an art and even a science to pie-making. And so it is with intergenerational programming. People who are committed to uniting generations often know one generation very well and are deeply committed to “their people” spending time with those in another age cohort. But how, exactly, to go about it, knowing what’s going to work (or not!) and why….well, that is sometimes another story.

At Bridges Together, we have more than two decades of experience refining and sharing the art and science of intergenerational programming. We provide easy How-To Guides – like Betty Crocker’s recipes – that anyone can follow. And for those who want the best outcomes — the golden brown, flaky crust that melts in your mouth — we provide coaching and trainings. Our Bridges Program Curricula Suite is actually an extensive series of how-to lesson plans – plans that have been implemented by hundreds of teachers across the country over 25 years.

Check out our How-To Guides. See firsthand the impact of Bridges on our YouTube channel or on Burlington Cable Access Television. Then contact us to help you make your intergenerational idea a reality.

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