The Bridges Together’s bimonthly How To Guides (H2Gs) empower you to create strong intergenerational (IG) programs easily and cost-effectively
Get your monthly guide with a H2G Subscription. Previous themes included:
Social Circles: An Intergenerational Perspective
July & August 2019
In previous decades of history, we spoke often about social circles – the circles of people with whom we lived and moved. In this How-To-Guide, we invite you and those in your care to take a step back into our cultural history and into the history of your life to reflect on your social circles – past, present and future. There is a beauty and an importance in recognizing that we are not alone – that we are in fact, part of a circle of love. And if our circle of love is not what we wish it to be, we can each strive to grow and strengthen and extend our circles. Readers are encouraged to use Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory as a lens to understand their experience with social circles. Of course, there many suggestions on how to strengthen up and expand the levels of social circles with people in different generations – both informally with family and friends – as well as through organized programs.
Celebrating US: The People of the US of A
May & June 2019
US – the people of the US (United States) of America. The US is made up of US – as in you and me. This Land that has welcomed the tired and the poor and those “yearning to breathe free” as the Statue of Liberty proclaims to all who came through Ellis Island and go to visit, reminding us of our roots. We have included background information on and activities specific to Memorial Day, Flag Day and July 4th in the Activity Section. An addendum showcases the many versions of our American flag.
Celebrating Rites of Passage
March & April 2019
Spring and early summer are traditional American seasons filled with religious ceremonies, proms, graduations, weddings and other “rites of passage”. Rites of passage are cultural occasions that involve a change in status for an individual. Many of these rites involve ceremonies and celebrations, with generations coming together. However, in the hustle and bustle of American life and with the age-segregation that we are now experiencing, we may need to be intentional about celebrating these beyond the immediate members – whether in a family, a class at school, or a scout troop. When we find innovative ways to incorporate a greater community to celebrate these milestones, we have the opportunity to look at our past as well as create a new future that is stronger because we are together. In this H2g, we explore many ways to celebrate common rites of passage – from birth through bereavement. We introduce a new term: liminal space and we review the importance of making time to celebrate. For those who want to unite the generations in a community setting, you’ll find everything you need for a successful IG program from planning to implementation to evaluation! Visit the Rites of Passage H2G for more info.
Longevity – February 2019
We hope for a long life. We talk about: “The womb to the tomb” and “The cradle to the grave” or “growing up and growing old.”
For many Americans, life spans are increasing. Each day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65 and they can expect to live about 20 more years. This is called The Longevity Dividend. But what do those 20 years look like? How do we prepare? We offer some suggestions for exploring longevity with our families and friends. Our H2G also lays out how to organize a formal IG program around longevity – from whom to invite to the table, how to get the generations to engage and meaningful activities that will touch hearts and minds.
Circle of Love – January, 2019
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love” Dionne Warwick sang out for us. In this H2G, we reflect upon the people in our own circles of love who bring us genuine love and identify ways that we can expand our circles to be more inclusive.
The Culture Wheel – December, 2018
By fostering a respect for both the collective wisdom of elders and the influx of various cultures through younger people, we are laying the foundation for respect and cooperation in our homes, organizations, and communities. Use this wheel with related conversations and activities to help celebrate our wonderfully, diverse culture.
“Loved this H2G on culture, so very important to the essence of our being. Naturally, so very much centers around food in our Italian culture. We all eat Italian food (a no Brainer) but our must favorite thing to do as a family is to eat Korean food together. We are now a blended family! Thank you – you made my day.♥️” – Fran
Gratitude: It’s a Life Changer – November, 2018
In this How-To Guide, we explore the science showing the impact gratitude has on our health. Jump into conversation starters, practical ways to express gratitude as well as a myriad of activities to explore this theme in formal groups or casual, familial settings.
Peace – October, 2018
We are living at a time where our leaders and the media seem to be filled with the opposite of peace. We are all feeling it – even our youngsters. So… “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Who’s Cooking – September, 2018
Explore the benefits of sitting at a table together – personally and professionally – and how to make that happen. Learn some key nutritional information. Explore a wide-variety of cooking activities for people of all ages and abilities. Enjoy a supplemental bibliography of a dozen multicultural picture books about cooking with related activities.
Reading For Life – August, 2018
Reading – beginning in infancy – supports lifelong learning. Find lots of tips on how to make reading come alive and support reading intergenerationally.
Art – July, 2018
As with all of our H2Gs, this 17-page tool goes into details on how to carry out more than 15 art-based activities along with guidelines on planning a formal art program for IG groups.
Gardening – June, 2018
This H2G includes conversation starters about gardening, discusses different types of gardens for you to consider and is filled with great IG activities like charting plant growth, making garden markers and more.
Summer Movies – May, 2018
In this H2G, we dive into two very different movies with IG themes, The Eagle Huntress and Up! Included are a myriad of ways to explore each of the movies – whether in a formal group or a casual, familial setting.
Outside the Classroom – April, 2018
This month, we use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to explore ways to intergenerationally support our community members who are struggling and to strengthen our neighborhoods.
Engage at Every Age – March, 2018
In preparation for Older American’s Month in May, this H2G includes dozens of ways to celebrate older adults and people across the lifespan!
Poetry – February, 2018
In preparation for Poetry Month in April, H2G will help everyone – even the greatest skeptics – experience the passion and power of poetry. Use this H2G all year long – especially in poetry units of English classes!
Empowerment – January, 2018
In preparation for Women’s History Month, we focus on women who continue to empower and encourage other women in the face of adversity. Perfect all year long as we shift the culture of this nation.