Yesterday, I went to visit WPI (Worcester Polytechnical Institute). Since the college’s founding in 1865, the motto has been “Theory and Practice”.
“Theory and practice” – that’s what we do at Bridges Together. We integrate theory with best practices.
Theories on which we build include:
• Human development that states that all people are continuously changing physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually and most people also develop spiritually. 95% of American believe in a Higher Power – that is spiritual development.
• Multiple intelligences that states each person has varying amounts of eight intelligences or “smarts”: body, logic, music, nature, interacting with people, picture/ visual arts, knowing themselves and word/ linguistic.
• Socio-emotional development that states throughout life, we always experience situations and based on the interactions of our body, mind and culture, we hope to develop trust, autonomy, initiative, industry, intimacy, generativity and integrity (or not).
Best Practices we integrate include:
• Intergenerational programs where all participants interact with one another in meaningful ways and benefit from the experience. They share as well as have team leadership, a flexible structure, and when possible, share both groups’ space.
• Volunteer management which includes thoughtfully recruiting, interviewing, training, placing, supervising, evaluating, thanking and retaining.
• Classrooms today that includes a shift from students as vessels to students as problem-solvers, a focus on cooperative learning and curricula that has clearly stated goals, objectives and tools for evaluation all the while supporting educational standards
By clearly integrating theory and practice, Bridges Together successfully designs, implements and evaluates intergenerational programs. Our award-winning flagship program, Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together, has been in use throughout New England since 1991.
Can you imagine if people are talking about Bridges Together in 100 years?
Whether or not our organization is around like WPI, which was started by two men, we are confident that through Bridges Together programs, lives are being changed and the ripple effects positively impact people, families and communities for many years to come!