As Bridges Together’s Intergenerational Facilitator, Julie Shaw spends a lot of her days training and traveling. Julie is our “go-to” person for all things related to the Bridges Program Curricula Suite, our award-winning, ready-made and proven intergenerational program.
One aspect of Julie’s job is to help coordinate the Bridges Program Curricula Suite with all of our current communities. This includes training additional people and then supporting these communities if they have additional questions once their program is up and running.
The other part of Julie’s job involves guiding communities that have an interest in the Bridges Program and helping them navigate the process of getting started. Stumbling blocks sometimes include finding funding as well as a partner organization to work with, and Julie provides solutions! (There are grants available, by the way!)
Here’s what Julie has to say about her job: “I love the collaboration and seeing a lot of ideas come together. It’s so wonderful to see a community come together and use their resources as one entity as opposed to separate departments.
“The most exciting thing is helping different parts of the community realize how many unused resources are at their disposal. Schools begin to see older adults as the valued resources that they are. In turn, organizations serving older adults see how to partner with one of a community’s more visible resources – the schools.
“It can be overwhelming to get an intergenerational program started, but that’s why I’m here! I love visiting a program after it has begun. Everyone is engaged and everyone participates. The way that the Bridges Program Curricula Suite is designed, all attendees come away learning something. Kids and older adults learn together – and people soon learn that ‘intergenerational’ is as easy as inviting someone to an activity that you’re already doing. The Bridges program helps people see that we can all learn from each other.”
If you are interested in bringing the Bridges program to your community, contact Julie at Julie@BridgesTogether.org or by phone at 978.793.9509.