Congratulations to our 2018 Fran Pratt winner, Barbara Johnson! Barbara is the Program Coordinator at Stagebridge’s Storybridge program in Oakland, California. Stagebridge’s Storybridge program has been nationally recognized for its work by the MetLife Foundation and the US Department of Education, largely due to Barbara’s focus and commitment. The program builds literacy and confidence in elementary school youth through teaching and demonstrating storytelling techniques. Older adult and master storytellers visit classrooms through months-long residencies, during which time they give the gift of storytelling to young people in under-resourced neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area.
Additionally, Barbara started Stagebridge’s Grandparents’ Tales Contest, for which young people interview an older adult in their lives and then re-tell that story. Grandparents’ Tales winners have told in bookstores, on local television, and have been featured by such companies as Coca-Cola. Barbara is also a proud grandmother of two, but she has been dedicated to bringing together young people and older adults for over twenty years. One of this year’s judges stated that they recognized that “Barbara has opened doors for children who are less fortunate, giving them more opportunity to gain knowledge and to learn not only from their peers but from seniors as well. Children learn from storytelling from a senior’s perspective, and seniors also gain perspective of the children’s lives, and they bond on those levels. I chose her as #1 because she has had a strong commitment to her community throughout her whole life.”
And congratulations to our 2 finalists!
Barbara Friedman of Boston, MA. Barbara has authored the book: Connecting Generations: Integrating Aging Education and Intergenerational Programs with Elementary and Middle School Curricula. She was a leader in the Massachusetts Intergenerational Network – founded by Fran Pratt and helped to plan their annual conferences in the 1990s and beyond. She helped to establish Boston Bridge, an organization that unites professionals in the field of aging – providing mentoring and career development opportunities. From one of the judges, “Barbara brings a life-long commitment to her work. She recognizes the value of bringing people together to accomplish her mission and vision.”
Karen Sheehan of Haverhill, MA. Karen is the Director of Development and Community Engagement at Bethany Community Services. Her goal as the director was to not only stay true to the mission of providing meaningful programming for the seniors the serve – 90% of them living at or below the poverty line – but to specifically create IG programming and serve a second population in the community, low-income students. The BETHANY DISCOVERY CLUB was launched January 2018 and in 4 short months, it incorporated 140 students and seniors in programs such as “This is Your Life” where students develop friendships with seniors and share stories about their new friends through writings and presentations. From one of the judges, “Karen has been creative and innovative in her work with the Bethany Discovery Club. It is impressive that she seeks funding through grants, and has been successful. To engage 200 seniors/students within her first year of the Discovery Club is impressive!”
Congratulations to all of our 2018 nominees and all the people out there doing exceptional IG work!
Fran Pratt was a true pioneer who wrote one of the first manuals on aging education for children. He then went on to form the Massachusetts Intergenerational Network–one of the first networking communities within the US for those involved in intergenerational work.
This award is dedicated to individuals who are creating and maintaining opportunities for our older adults and young people to engage with each other in meaningful ways and foster a culture of age-integration.
The 2019 Fran Pratt award Call for Nominations will open in August 2019.