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Finding Common Ground: Bridging the Multigenerational Workplace

IMG_0076Many organizations and workplaces now have four generations of people engaged in various roles, people who grew up in different eras. The Eriksons proposed that our socio-emotional development is affected in each life stage by an interaction of our body, our mind and our culture.

In this hands-on workshop, we will take a stroll through American history to understand how “the times” have influenced and shaped each generation, including our character and values. Participants will leave with an understanding of the people in their various circles and tools to better connect with them.

If you are interested in having Bridges Together Founder and Executive Director Andrea J. Fonte Weaver lead this workshop at your workplace, please contact Debbie Howell at Debbie@BridgesTogether.org or 978.793.9650.

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Video Overview

Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurshipBridges Together is a social entrepreneurship: an organization led be people who create innovative ways to address challenges in today’s society.

As rising cultural forces, social entrepreneurships employ staff and rely on a combination of revenue streams for survival: sales, donations, grants, corporate sponsorships, events and social impact investments.

For more information about social entrepreneurships, visit Ashoka.org, or read How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein.

A Video Intro To Bridges

Grand Family Faire




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8:30 AM – Start the day early with the Kids Fun Run portion of the 5K Constitution Road Race & Walk! Register here for this event, promoted by GetLOCALMA.com.

hot-air-balloon-clipart (1)9 AM – 1 PM – Enjoy old fashioned family fun on the grounds of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn! (Tickets $10/child, 2 and under free; food & special events (**) are an additional cost.)

  • Old fashioned games such as relay races, marbles, jacks & more
  • Musical petting zoo
  • Arts & crafts
  • Storytelling — Hear some stories of eras past in The Redstone Schoolhouse
  • Hot air balloon experience (9 – 11 AM) — Up, up and away (but, never fear, not really…the balloon will stay tethered!) **
  • Pony rides (10 AM – 12:30 PM) **
  • ice creamFood — Grab lunch or a yummy snack from an array of food trucks **
  • Professional family photos at The Grist Mill **
  • Scavenger hunt — Explore the grounds of The Wayside Inn and brush up on your history!

1 PM – Attend an Interfaith Prayer Service for Our Generations, conducted by the Sudbury Clergy Association at The Martha Mary Chapel

1:30 PMCelebrate 25 Years of the Bridges Program! Did you know that the seed of what is now the Bridges Program Curricula Suite is a quarter of a century old? Let’s celebrate — with birthday cake — all of the ways that this program has transformed thousands of lives far and wide.

birthday cake

Host an Event

Bridges Together is encouraging communities throughout the United States — and beyond! — to plan events to celebrate Intergenerational Month.

To give you some ideas, click here to see a calendar listing of events that were held throughout Massachusetts in 2016 and here to see all of BT’s How-To Guides.

Bridges Together would like to know about your event! Please fill out the web form below so we can provide you with an IGM logo as well as help you publicize.

I want to help build bridges across generations!

_Homepage_girls-rock-webFinancial donations are important, but there are other impactful ways to support the work we do at Bridges Together. Here are a few:

subscribe-round Sign up for our monthly e-news
facebook-round “Like” us on Facebook
twitter-round Follow us on Twitter
youtube-round Subscribe to our YouTube channel
linkedin-round Connect with us on LinkedIn
amazon-round Shop with AmazonSmile
amazon-roundPresent Bridges materials to school administrators or teachers (email Melanie@BridgesTogether.org for information)
amazon-roundBecome a Bridges volunteer (email Debbie@BridgesTogether.org for information)

Thank you for your support! We couldn’t do it without you.

IGM with BT & Fugitive Stories

Bridges Together and Fugitive Stories are teaming up for Intergenerational Month! If you are local, please join us on Sunday, September 24 at 6 pm at The Gallery at Villageworks in West Acton.

Bridges Together & Fugitive Stories present an evening of entertaining and honest true stories on the theme “Across Generations.”  The lineup includes award-winning storytellers as well as members of the Bridges Together community who will be sharing personal stories on the same theme.

This Fugitive Stories evening will include a cash bar serving wine and beer, light refreshments and a reception before the storytelling begins so that those who join may mingle and informally share their own stories!

Tickets are $20/person online and $25/person at the door. Ticket proceeds will benefit Bridges Together. Here’s our special intergenerational ticket offer: Two tickets for $30! Buy one ticket for a Senior (65+) plus one ticket for a high school student and the second ticket will be 50% off! Advance purchase only. Tickets can be purchased online here. (Another bonus is that True West Brewery is offering 15% off food before or after the fundraiser with proof of advance ticket sale — digital or printed.)

Kraemer IG Story Contest


Everyone has a story to tell!

The winners of the 2017 Kraemer Intergenerational Story Contest are:

Grand Prize

The Bathtub Cafe by Marie Ballard

Second Place (3-way tie)

Eyes that See by Jerri Hardesty

The Red Bridge by Carolina Williams

The Flight of the Butterfly (collage plus accompanying text) by Darcy Howell

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Congratulations to Marie, Jerri, Carolina, and Darcy! And thank you to everyone who submitted intergenerational stories to the Kraemer Intergenerational Story Contest.

Stay up to date with Bridges Together and all the intergenerational work we do! Find us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.


Let's Celebrate!

In celebration of the 25th Birthday of the Bridges Program and the 5th Anniversary of the incorporation of Bridges Together Inc., please join us at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn for a party!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

12:00 pm

Tickets: $50

Three-Course Brunch * Mimosas * Live Music

To RSVP, contact Debbie Howell via email or at 978.793.9650

We will be honoring the following individuals for their support of Bridges Together over the years:

Ruth Griesel, former Director of the Sudbury Senior Center, who said “yes” to implementing the Bridges program, then known as “Oldies but Goodies”;

Dave Stevens, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging, one of Bridges Together’s most steadfast supporters;

Emmett Schmarsow, Program Manager for Councils on Aging and Senior Centers at the Executive Office of Elder Affairs — Andrea interned with Emmett when she was studying for her Masters in Intergenerational Studies!




Massachusetts IG Coalition

“But I don’t like things they way they are supposed to be. No Architect of Change does. We challenge what is and imagine what can be. But we also have the courage to move forward.” — Maria Shriver

Andrea at the first meeting of the MIC

Bridges Together is committed to showcasing intergenerational work in Massachusetts and uniting our voices.

To that end, Bridges Together regularly convenes a group of individuals dedicated to promoting intergenerational ideals both on a local and statewide level. Members include leaders in aging services, education, social services as well as concerned citizens.

The group’s first meeting resulted in a list of recommendations submitted to the Executive Office of Elder Affairs of ways that it can promote intergenerational policy at a state level.

MIC’s second meeting kicked off Bridges Together’s planning and celebration of Intergenerational Month, recognized every September. MIC members planned events within their own communities, and Bridges Together helped publicize and promote these events. Bridges Together planned a Grand Family Faire to celebrate Intergenerational Month.



Press photos

The images below can be used for publication. Click on photos for a full-size version.

The gallery images below are from the 2014 Stellar Senior Award presentation at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.


Spotlight: IG Programs

Memorial Day Celebration
The Barnstable Senior Center

The Barnstable, MA Senior Center celebrates Memorial Day with an annual intergenerational breakfast that brings veterans together with high school students. During the 90-minute event, the veterans share with the audience and the students their life experiences and stories about their time spent in service. The breakfast is followed by a ceremony that includes the raising of the American flag and an honor guard.

From the 2014 Cape Cod Times - photo by Steve Heaslip

From the 2014 Cape Cod Times – photo by Steve Heaslip

Barnstable Senior Center Activity Coordinator Susan Griffin explains, “Our Memorial Day Breakfast honors Veterans. We collaborate with Veteran Services and the Barnstable High School and try to pair student with the vets.”

The breakfast includes veterans from organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Korean War Veterans Organization. The students come from history and government classes at Barnstable High School. They sit at tables together talking in small groups, and then some of the veterans present for the whole gathering.

Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Flag day are all great opportunities to bring the generations together and share historical facts and personal stories. Hearing directly from individuals who participated in these historical events brings the past to life for young and old alike.

Click here to read a feature about the 2014 Barnstable breakfast in the Cape Cod Times.

Facts, Figures and Milestones

1991:  Andrea begins her career as an Intergenerational (IG) Specialist and pilots the Bridges: Growing Together program

1992:  Andrea becomes a member and eventual leader in the Massachusetts Intergenerational Network

1994: Bridges is led in new communities by Andrea.  Other communities hire her to design, implement and evaluate custom programs

2000: Bridges expands district-wide in Sudbury, involving 17 classrooms of 4th graders and 136 seniors

2003: Other New England communities purchase, train with  and implement the Bridges program

2012: Bridges Together is incorporated as a not-for-profit, charitable organization

2013:  Bridges: Our Smarts middle school program is developed

2014:  Bridges: Our Stories program for early readers is developed

2016: Bridges: Lifelong Journeys high school program is developed

Since Bridges Together was incorporated in 2012, 16 new communities have implemented one or more of its programs, engaging nearly 2,000 children, 600 seniors, and 75 community leaders. Hundreds more community leaders are currently attending workshops and/or being trained to launch new Bridges Together programs.


Start a Conversation

Big change can start simply. We invite you to start a dialogue with your family, colleagues and government leaders about how to view communities, workplaces and family structures through an intergenerational lens.

Grand Conversation Cards. These cards, full of insightful questions designed to spark dialogue, are a hit both at trainings and around the dinner table. Purchase yours ($10/deck of 40 cards) here.

In Your Community: Bridges Together can help you spur a dialogue about intergenerational issues wherever you are located.

State-Wide IGAM Celebrations


Check out events that have been planned for Intergenerational Awareness Month throughout Massachusetts — and beyond. Click here for background information about IGAM.


2013 Bridges Fashion Event-66

Check out the following communities that are planning events:


Intergenerational Chorus “Kick Off,” sponsored by Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus. The Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus begins its fall semester on Tues Sept 6th.  Open to all who love to sing ages 10-110! Meets Tuesdays 6:30-8:00 at First Parish of Watertown, 35 Church St. First rehearsal open to public; enrollment fee to join after that. Contact: Joanne Hammil; joanne AT joannehammil.com, 617-851-9098


Granddads & Donuts, sponsored by the Norwell Council on Aging. Looking for something to do with your grandchild and have an opportunity to connect with other granddads? Join us for donuts and juice, coffee and an activity to share. This is a free event. Contact: Susan Curtin; scurtin AT townofnorwell.net, 781.659.7878.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 8:00 – 10:00 AM in SURPRISE, ARIZONA:                                        

Intergenerational Art Show, sponsored by BennevillaChildren from Wirtzie’s preschool and adults from Lucy Anne’s Place Adult Day Program will share their art work at Benevilla. All art was made together between the two groups and is  available for purchase. Light refreshments and snack will be offered. Contact: Jeanette Rosas; JRosas AT benevilla.org, 623-584-4999.


Music Together, sponsored by the Norwell Council on Aging and South Shore ConservatoryMusic is ageless, music connects us. The Norwell Council on Aging is partnering with the South Shore Conservatory to offer a Music Together class for parents and grandparents to explore music with their special child ages 6 mos. to 4 years old. This is a free program. This is a great opportunity for families and children to foster meaningful musical relationships across the ages. If you don’t have a special child to bring and are interested in participating, we welcome you.  Let’s have fun making music together! Class size is limited and registration is required by calling 781.659 .7878.


Grandparents Day Craft, sponsored by Brewster Ladies’ Library. Come to the library to celebrate Grandparent’s Day! We are making papier-mâché boxes to give to our very special family members. If you have a
photo smaller than 4×7, please bring it so we can place it inside. The event is free. Contact the library for more information: 508-896-3913.


Friendship and Flowers, sponsored by Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly. Friendship & Flowers is an opportunity for volunteers to visit with elders living in assisted living facilities. Volunteers will arrive at the LBFE office for an orientation at 11:30 am where they will make bouquets of flowers to deliver to the elders and choose which neighborhood they would like to go. The visits will last from 1:00-3:00 pm. Participants are encouraged to chat, play games, and enjoy each others’ company during the 1-2 hour visit. This is a good opportunity for both individuals and families. There is no cost to participate in this program. Contact: Airlie Parham, aparham.bos AT littlebrothers.org, 617-524-8882.


Grandparents Tea, sponsored by Concord Council on AgingSeniors bring a grandchild or great-grandchild for tea and sandwiches, photos, magician, face painting and more. Contact: Marcia Zaniboni; mzaniboni AT concordma.gov, 978-318-3015.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM in WESTON:                                    

Intergenerational Show and Tell, sponsored by the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History. Do kids collect things like their grandparents and parents did when they were young? Are today’s children still interested in gathering baseball cards, comic books, post cards, shells, rocks, sea glass, dolls, bottle caps and many other interesting objects of our culture or have computer games won out? Come find out as the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History on the Regis College campus in Weston holds an intergenerational “Show and Tell”! Contact: Henry Lukas; henryjlukas AT hotmail.com, 617-784-5838.


Intergenerational Stories, sponsored by Sudbury Senior Center and Goodnow Library. Visit the Goodnow Library or the Sudbury Senior Center to share your favorite books with readers of all ages. What was your favorite book as a youngster? What should younger or older readers read to learn about your life experiences? Who is your favorite character? Fill out a Story about Stories Survey and post it on the Intergenerational Stories About Stories Bulletin Board. Surveys will also be available and posted at the Sudbury Senior Center. This activity will be ongoing, beginning on Friday 9/16. Drop in to share and read.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 8:30 AM to 2:00 in SUDBURY:

Grand Family Faire, sponsored by Bridges Together. Join Bridges Together at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn for our Grand Family Faire! Grab your grandchild, child, group of friends or anyone in your circle of love to celebrate Intergenerational Awareness Month with some old fashioned family fun, including old fashioned games (relay races, marbles, jacks), food trucks, storytelling in the Redstone Schoolhouse, arts & crafts, pony rides and professional family photos at The Grist Mill. Kick off the day at 8:30 with a kids fun run promoted by GetLOCALMA and end the day with an Interfaith Intergenerational Worship Service (conducted by the Sudbury Clergy Association at The Martha Mary Chapel) and then some birthday cake as Bridges Together celebrates 25 years of the Bridges program! Contact: Debbie Howell; Debbie AT BridgesTogether.org, 978.793.9650.


Community Band Concert, sponsored by Bellingham Council on Aging and Bellingham Cultural Council.  Free rides are available to seniors and younger disabled residents if arrangements are made by Friday, September 16th.  Call 508-966-0398 for information. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Contact: Laura DeMattia; ldemattia AT bellinghamma.org, 508-657-2705.


Nature Explorers, sponsored by the Norwell Council on Aging and South Shore Natural Science Center. Last Spring the Norwell COA successfully piloted the Nature Explorers Program with the Nature Center Preschool at the South Shore Natural Science Center. We are happy to be partnering again for the upcoming school year. We are looking for 10 volunteers to participate in this program with preschool students to learn about signs of fall, wild turkeys, winter birds, fox families, planting, pond life and more! This is an interactive program taught by SSNSC staff where children and older adults will learn and explore together. The sessions are taught by SSNSC staff. This group will meet once a month for two hours, between October and June. If you are interested in participating, please call Susan in the COA office at 781-659-7878. Participants must attend a brief orientation session with the SSNSC staff and are required by the State to have a CORI/ SORI. We look forward to seeing you outdoors!


Creating Art at Home: Workshop in Intergenerational Expressive Arts, sponsored by Families Creating TogetherCreating Art at Home/Birds of a Feather  at ABCD Jamaica Plain Head Start, 315 Centre Street, JP. Two FREE workshops for parents, grandparents, caregivers. Use recycled and simple art materials in imaginative ways. Learn about birds of the tropical rain forest and New England. Create habitats using clay and other materials. After 2nd workshop take home art materials to continue your adventure! Wheelchair accessible. Child care provided. FCT is a program of Community Service Care/Tree of Life Coalition. To register and for more information call 617-522-4832 or email familiescreating@gmail.com. Additional information at www.familiescreatingtogether.org

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 3:30 to 5:30 PM in NORWELL:

Painting Pals, sponsored by the Norwell Council on Aging and Nate Nottingham, art teacher at Norwell High School. Participants must register by Sept. 20 by calling 781.659.7878. Snacks will be served!


Build Your Own Sundae Ice Cream Social, sponsored by Provincetown COA and Independence HouseIn honor of Intergenerational Awareness Month, Independence House is sponsoring an ice cream social, including “Build-Your-Own-Sundaes,” at the COA for seniors and for children in the Provincetown Recreation Department’s After-School Program. Contact: Chris Hottle; chottle AT provincetown-ma.gov, 508-487-7080.


Intergenerational Back-to-School  Recital, sponsored by Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio and Sudbury Pines Extended CareNote-worthy Experiences Music Studio will host a Back to School Themed Recital for the residents of a local nursing home. This private event is free to all residents, staff and Note-worthy Experiences families.


Intergenerational Model UN, at the Yarmouth Senior Center, sponsored by Age-Friendly YarmouthPairing 25 seniors with 25 high school students to participate in a Model UN fast track curriculum with a topic focus of water.  Pilot funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation as part of Age-Friendly Yarmouth continuous improvement plan. There is no cost to the participants. Contact: Kathi Bailey; kbailey@yarmouth.ma.us, 508-394-7606.

IMG_0907Bridges Together is putting together a calendar and supporting other organizations throughout the state as they celebrate intergenerational relationships throughout the month. This movement is an offshoot of the networking Bridges Together has done over the past few years and the recommendations of those who participated in the Statewide Intergenerational Strategies Summit. Please click here to learn about the Grand Family Faire — Bridges Together’s own Intergenerational Awareness Month event — on Sunday, September 18 at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury.

To get involved, please contact Debbie Howell at 978-793-9650 or Debbie@Bridges Together.org.

Thank you!

Thank you so very much for making a tax-deductible donation to Bridges Together. Every dollar goes to empowering people to create bridges across the generations.

Follow us on facebook or join our e-newsletter to stay abreast of our work.

Have an enjoyable day!

Andrea Weaver & The Bridges Together Board


Theories Behind Our Work

At Bridges Together, we talk about the art and science of intergenerational programming. The very essence of our work — whether it’s advocacy, the Bridges Program Curricula Suite or helping leaders build their own custom IG programs — is based on human development theories. In other words, everything we do is rooted in an understanding of how people tick, function and relate to each other!

Here are some of the theories that inspire our work:

We are always growing and changing in at least four areas as defined in human development theory. The four areas include:  physical, intellectual, social and emotional.  Most of us all develop spiritually, meaning we believe in a Higher Power, regardless of whether or not we practice in an organized religion.  Spiritual development is included in this program because many intergenerational experiences occur in families during religious holidays.  Many of the lessons focus on some aspect of human development.


We are all smart – as defined by Dr. Howard  Gardner in his multiple intelligence theory.
Gardner developed the multiple intelligence theory which states that there are eight types of intelligences or “smarts”:  body, logic, music, nature, people, picture, self  and words.  Each of us is stronger in some and weaker in others.  The motto for this theory is:  It’s not how smart we are but HOW we are smart! The Bridges Together activities are based on a variety of the intelligences so that each participant has an opportunity to shine.  Many of the adult volunteers find this theory fascinating. The theory provides a framework for examining our lives and supporting the children in our lives.

Throughout our lives, we have experiences that cause our egos to either prosper or stagnate as defined by Dr. Erikson in his Social-Emotional Development Theory.

During each phase of life, our egos either thrive or stagnate based on the interactions of the body, mind and culture.

  • School age children between the ages of 6 and 12, either become industrious or develop an inferiority complex.
  • During adolescence, they either successfully develop their identities or have role confusion.
  • In middle adulthood, between the ages of 35 and 65, people either create and share with others or become self-absorbed and stagnate.
  • During late adulthood, after the age of 65, adults who are able to reflect on their lives and make sense of them develop integrity and wisdom.  Those who are not able to do this develop despair.

Bridges Together programs help facilitate the development of people’s “egos.”


We all grow and interact in the context of five environmental systems. Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory (or human ecology theory) provides the framework for understanding individuals’ contexts within community. The five systems — microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem and chronosystem — start with the immediate community, such as family, and continue to extend outward to the attitudes and ideologies of a greater culture. It’s important to understand the individual and cultural contexts of others!







To Help Plan Your IGAM Event: Recipes for Intergenerational Success

Bridges Together is pleased to present these creative ideas to engage, entertain, and strengthen families, organizations, and communities. Enjoy!

To help plan your Intergenerational Awareness Month event:

We’ve compiled loads of resources — we call them Recipes for Intergenerational Success — to help you plan an event! Take a look below — we’ve divided them into Detailed Plans (where we’ve spelled out the nitty-gritty of an entire event) and Springboards. (Resources designed to provide inspiration for you to plan your own, customized event.)

Either way, you’ll want to print out our  One-Time Event Recipe for Success, which gives you a template for planning an event that flows and allows for meaningful intergenerational engagement! Our Steps to Create an Intergenerational (IG) Program in Your Community sheet is a great place to start.


Let’s Dance: Planning an Intergenerational Prom

Helping Hands: Intergenerational Volunteering

Calling All Scouts: Uniting Generations from Your Scouting Program

Celebrating Grandparents (and Grandfriends) Day

Easy Outdoor Intergenerational Activities

Making Intergenerational Music

UP: An Intergenerational Movie Night

Planning a Community Walk: A Recipe for Intergenerational Success

Intergenerational Trips to the Art Museum

Intergenerational Activities at the Library


Intergenerational Top Ten Book Lists

Ice Breakers

Games to Play with Bridges Together’s Grand Conversation Cards

One Book, One Community, One Family – How to-Guide

Other ideas

ABCs of Intergenerational Programs
andrea in group small

Family Tree (traditional genealogical structure) PDF

Family Tree (non-traditional “circle of love” structure) PDF 

Gift to This World Sheet

Celebrating Diversity Activity Sheet

How to Welcome People

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Celebrating Rites of Passages Intergenerationally

Poetry Page

Presidents’ Day

Thanksgiving Activities

Women’s History Month — Rosie the Riveter

Welcome to Bridges Together!

If you’ve been redirected here from Intergeneration Month, welcome to Bridges Together! Click here to read about Bridges Together’s role in continuing IG Month’s work.

Are you looking for the Kraemer Intergenerational Story Contest? CLICK HERE!

To learn more about Bridges Together, click here.



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Board of Trustees

Chris Hammer, Board Chair

2016 Bridges Summit Meeting and Headshots-231 retouchedChris combines many years of professional experience as a senior manager in client services with personal experience as a board member for several not-for-profit organizations. He currently volunteers as a second president on the board of the Retired Men’s Association (RMA) in addition to serving the Knox Trail Executive Board. Chris enjoys participating in Bridges: Growing Together sessions in Sudbury, teaching classes in Child Safety and driving for Friends in Service Helping (FISH). In his earlier life, he was a client services executive with Akibia, Inc., supporting two of the company’s largest accounts. He spent 30 years as a regional manager for the northeast at Eastman Kodak Co. and continues to be a member of Association of Field Service Managers International and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. Chris enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife, four children and their families.

Beth Almeida, Treasurer


Lee Ann Frigulietti, Clerk

2016 Bridges Summit Meeting and Headshots-5 retouchedLee Ann Frigulietti is currently an Assistant Vice President of Resident Services at Beacon Communities – Beacon Residential Management, where she provides training and support to all Resident Service Coordinators, assists with program development, establishes policies and procedures and writes grants. Beacon Communities offers affordable housing communities for people of all ages with support to improve the residents’ quality of life and help maintain tenancies. Prior to this, Lee Ann worked in other positions at Beacon as well as at several non-profit agencies that serve at-risk youth and their families.

Because building community is a key component to quality of life issues within affordable housing, Lee Ann finds Bridges Together’s mission and work to be compatible with Beacon’s motto of “Living Well By Design.” She believes in the importance of meaningful engagement between the generations. In her spare time, Lee Ann enjoys singing in a barbershop chorus and quartet as a member of Sweet Adeline’s International in the Island Grove Chorus of Abington, MA.

Michele Fisher

2016 Bridges Summit Meeting and Headshots-197 retouchedMichele Fisher currently works for The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) in Community Initiatives. Along with other team members, she is responsible for direct distribution programs at more than 100 senior centers and schools. Prior to joining GBFB, Michele managed property for Friendly Earth Homes, LLC and Flying Fish Rehab — two small residential real estate investment firms — and worked in Product Management at The Quaker Oats Company. 

Michele is excited about joining the Bridges Together Board because she’s energized by small organizations seeking growth and has an interest in education and new models for learning. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, vegetarian cooking and spending time with family.

Kathryn Portnow

2016 Bridges Together Headshot Kathryn 2Kathryn Portnow is a developmental and licensed psychologist. She holds an Ed.D. in human development and psychology from Harvard University, where she specialized in adult development. While at Harvard, Kathryn had the great fortune to study with Erik and Joan Erikson and was inspired by their commitment to intergenerational programming and teaching. As a research associate at Harvard, she co-authored a federally funded three-and-a-half-year longitudinal study of adult learning and development. Currently, Kathryn is a full time faculty member at Wheelock College where she has taught courses on lifespan and adult development for more than 10 years. She is also a psychotherapist at CLSACC, a community mental health multi-service center that serves low-income adults.

Kathryn’s current interests include the creation of innovative systems of care for the elderly and positive aging in adulthood. She is also a passionate gardener. She reflects: “As a board member of Bridges Together, I’m afforded a unique opportunity to promote awareness of the important, meaningful and generative contributions elders make enriching the lives of families and society. I passionately believe in BT’s work building positive attitudes toward aging among children, adolescents and adults.”

Andrea J. Fonte Weaver

Andrea J. Fonte Weaver grew up in a large, extended family and created the award-winning Bridges: Growing Together curriculum in 1991, while still in college. Building on her educational background in gerontology and sociology and her master’s degree in intergenerational studies, Andrea launched her career as an intergenerational specialist. She designed, implemented and evaluated a wide-variety of programs that brought children and older adults together to enrich each other’s lives. After the birth of her four children, Andrea’s career path took a turn into the software world, most recently as founder and president of a company that managed the production of new websites.

In 2012, Andrea responded to requests to spread the Bridges program by founding Bridges Together, Inc., a non-for-profit charitable organization. She has ably led Bridges Together to become an internationally renowned resource for intergenerational programming. Andrea is a sought-after expert in how to design, implement and evaluate programs that bring older adults and children together for meaningful engagement, and both she herself and the Bridges: Growing Together program have won multiple awards.

In her free time, Andrea enjoys spending time with her husband, their four sons and their extended family, as well as quilting and reading.



Headquartered in Sudbury, Massachusetts, Bridges Together Inc (BT) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering leaders to connect generations thereby transforming lives for today and tomorrow. Our vision is that every child and older adult will experience the richness of intergenerational relationships and interdependence.

We are a growing non-profit looking to fill one new part-time position. The successful applicant will work as an integral part of our team to lead and support intergenerational efforts.

Part-Time Membership and Business Development Director

BT seeks a warm, dynamic go-getter with excellent communication skills to launch and support a membership initiative as well as grow other development opportunities. Reporting to the Executive Director, s/he will play a central role in implementing and refining BT’s development plan. This person will develop a holistic understanding of BT’s model and assets to sell the membership and meet development objectives.

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work as an integral part of our team, with both the board and staff, to development and implement membership and development strategies to meet our annual goals
  • Research, identify and cultivate relationships with organizations and corporations to raise funds through memberships, fee for services and donations
  • Oversee member administration, services and retention
  • Assist with traditional fundraising efforts and thank-you events
  • Attend events and represent BT in the community, as needed
  • Perform other duties as assigned


  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in membership development, corporate relationship building and/or sales with nonprofits
  • Strong sales operations and process management experience with the proven ability to reach budget goals by building rapport and credibility quickly
  • Excellent presenter as well as creative and strategic thinker with the ability to clearly articulate organizational story
  • Outstanding organizational skills, attention to detail and initiative
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and as part of a team with purpose and accuracy in a fast-paced environment
  • High proficiency in all areas of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience required
  • Deep commitment to the mission of BT and an ability to compellingly represent the values of the organization externally

Are you the right fit?
Do you value intergenerational relationships? Are you dynamic, with a can-do attitude? Are you comfortable adapting to change, as this organization is growing and fast-paced? Do you enjoy working hard and independently while collaborating with kind, fun-loving people? Do you balance a warm, caring attitude with a commitment to excellence? If this sounds like you then, check out our website (BridgesTogether.org) – especially our vision, mission and core values. Take a few minutes to watch our YouTube videos.

Next Steps
If you truly think this might be the right fit and that you want to make a real difference in this organization that is helping to bring older adults and children together, please send your resume, one to three multi-page writing samples, and a cover letter to Resume@BridgesTogether.org. Please include the job position in the subject line. Salary is commensurate with professional experience.

Bridges Together is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to a diverse workplace.





2016 Intergenerational Story Contest Winners

First Place

“Intergenerational Family Recipes Should Never Be Lost” by Maria Ramos-Chertok, Mill Valley, CA, USA

Second Place

“A Stranger’s Bucket List” by Do Hyun Kang, Auckland, New Zealand

Third Place (five-way tie with students from Joan MacQueen Middle School, Alpine, CA, USA)

{Click here to read the third-place-winning stories.}

“She rode through the forest in the crisp winter wind…” by Aylsa Kermath

“Grandma’s Girl” by Molly Kermath

“Intergenerational Story” by MacKenzie Mullick

“My Grandma’s Story”by Ma’Shaya Pryor

“The Forgotten” by Dylan Rose

**These students’ intergenerational tales grew from a school assignment into Prize Winning entries in the 2016 “Your Story Contest” sponsored by Intergeneration Month. We thank their teachers and counselors and parents for their encouragement and we thank the students for their courage, for their amazing stories and for making a real difference.

Certificate of Distinction Winners

{Click here to read the entries by the Certificate of Distinction Winners below}

“Caught by a Stranger” by Kimberly Gotches, Los Alamos, NM, USA

“Act 500, Scene 657 Maybe…” by Zunnash Khan, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

“Finding My Voice — A Grandson’s Cherished Memory” by Aaron Larsen, Roseburg, OR, USA

“Grandma Minnie’s Legacy…A Grandson Remembers” by Jack Levine, Tallahassee, FL, USA

“My Father Showed Me This” by Luke Miller, Gulfport, MS, USA

“The Gift” by J.P. Odgers, Oklahoma City, OK, USA

“What Intergenerational Means to Me” by Andrea Fonte Weaver, Sudbury, MA, USA


BT staff and supporters at the Massachusetts State House with Rep. Carmine Gentile on the event of Gov. Charlie Baker proclaiming September 2016 as Intergenerational Awareness Month

Bridges Together knows the efficacy and documented benefits of intergenerational programming, and as such, we are dedicated to promoting and pressing for an intergenerational mindset in families, communities and governing bodies.

Take a look at the ways that Bridges Together advocates for an intergenerational movement:
•    What are IG Programs & Why Do We Need Them?
•    Intergenerational Month
•    Massachusetts Intergenerational Coalition
•    Research
•    IG Around the World
•    Books and Movies


Why are IG Programs Important?

“Today people are so disconnected that they feel they are blades of grass, but when they know who their grandparents and great-grandparents were, they become trees; they have roots; they can no longer be mowed down.” — Maya Angelou

Bridges Together Inc. advocates for the creation, successful implementation and proliferation of intergenerational programs.

What are intergenerational programs? And why are they important?

Participants in a Bridges: Growing Together program

In recent decades, important connections between generations have been broken. Routine interaction between older adults and children is no longer commonplace in American communities – and even within many families.

These societal shifts are problematic, as American demographics are changing:
•    By 2050, adults over the age of 65 will outnumber children under the age of 15.
•    Currently, 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day; they can expect to live to be 85.
•    Girls born in the 1990s can expect to live to be over 100 years of age and live into the 22nd century.

There’s no two ways about it: Our youth will be working with and caring for older adults. They will be the ones to design solutions for this aging population.

We believe that intergenerational programs are part of the solution.

Strong intergenerational programs unite “bookend generations” – that is, members of skipped generations, sometimes called old and young – in meaningful, mutually beneficial activities that promote understanding and learning from each other. (For a list of purposeful intergenerational activities – from A-Z – click here.)

IG programs benefit the young AND the old

Strong intergenerational (IG) programs empower children to:
•    Aspire to be active, healthy older adults;
•    Begin career exploration—especially working with or for older adults;
•    Create seeds of compassion and respect for elders;
•    Delight in being treasured by an older adult.

Strong IG programs empower older adults to:

  • Engage with children in organized activities;
  • Foster cultural continuity — helping to ensure that values, traditions and expertise will continue in future generations;
  • Garner time to reflect on their lives and share their knowledge and life stories;
  • Help support a meaningful, active, rewarding, healthy lifestyle.

Find out how to unite children and older adults in your own community by contacting us via email or at 978.793.9650.


Books & Movies

At Bridges Together, our mission is to empower leaders to connect generations thereby transforming lives today and tomorrow. One way to start an intergenerational journey is to take a look at how intergenerational relationships are portrayed in mass media and popular culture.

We will be continuously updating this section; for now, check out our compilation of intergenerational-themed Books and Movies.

Birthday Party


Copy of 2013 Bridges Fashion Event-128Stay informed about the latest intergenerational and Bridges Together news! Join our mailing list today.

Also, be sure to check our:




Click here for the Bridges Together YouTube channel, where you can view a series of videos about the program and the participants.

Take a look at our Bridges: Our Smarts program in action in the Chelmsford Public Library.


Below is a recently televised interview with Andrea Fonte Weaver, founder and executive director of Bridges Together.

Calendar/Upcoming Events


Andrea Fonte Weaver has received numerous awards for her work, including:

  • Wheelock College Alumni Association, Boston, Elizabeth Peabody Palmer Award “in recognition of extensive and outstanding work improving the lives of children and their families and demonstrated commitment to finding unity in all types of diversity,” 2014
  • Wheelock College, Boston, “125 Outstanding Alumni Improving the Lives of Children and Their Families,” 2013
  • Holy Cross Club of Greater Boston, “Crusader of the Year” Award, 2013

The Town of Sudbury, MA received the following awards for the Bridges program:

  • Kenneth E. Pickard Municipal Innovation Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)
  • The R.O.S.E. Award from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs for resourceful innovation in serving elders

Impact: Stories

Bridges Together has touched the lives of so many people! Here are just a few of them, along with their personal stories. Click on the names below to read more.

Stacey H.Stacey Hammerlind
Mary L.mary lamke
Sarah V.Sarah_V

Stacey H.

Stacey HammerlindStacey Hammerlind
Waverley Arts, Belmont, MA

I discovered Bridges Together a few years ago when I attended an information session at a Council on Aging Center.

I have been teaching art classes to children and adults for many years. I had begun teaching a Mosaic class at the senior center in town and had students from pre-school into their 80s and 90s. Due to the independent nature of the projects everyone worked individually, but the conversation between and support the artists had for each other was wonderful.

Belmont was fortunate to receive a grant to bring the Bridges Program to town. For the past few weeks I have had the absolute honor of being part of a program at the Belmont Cooperative Nursery School that had brought senior volunteers into the school to read with and create an art project related to the book. The volunteers and the children have shared stories about their grandparents and grandchildren, what they liked about the book we read, and what some of their other favorite books are.

I grew up very close to all my grandparents. Those remain some of the most meaningful relationship in my life. My children did not have the opportunity to know their grandparents in the same way and I have often thought what loss that is for them. While intergenerational art programs cannot recreate the grandparent/grandchild experience, they do enrich the lives of everyone involved. I believe they somehow strengthen our connections with our own families, however far away, but also they connect us to the larger community. The seniors will be around town and think of the students when they see other children. The children will not just see “an older person” but the next time, they may see an older person “like my friend who came and read with me.”

Bridges has proven to be an excellent professional resource as well. A bonus I wasn’t expecting! It has connected me with the larger Intergenerational community that I did not even know was out there. It is inspiring to learn about all the other programs and art media that are being offered. It has left me hungry for more and convinced me I need to attend the American Society on Aging’s Leadership Institute this spring.

Nothing I can really write here can convey how wonderful the Bridges classes have been, but I hope I have managed to convey how important and what a gift this program is.

-January 2015

Mary L.

Magical Intergenerational Moments

mary lamkeThere are some who say that what transpires in Bridges Together programs is, well, magical! When we watched what happened to Mary at the January Lunch, Learn and Network at the Treehouse Foundation, we all had to agree.

Mary L. has been a volunteer in and served as volunteer coordinator of the Bridges programs in Dalton, Massachusetts. She came to the Lunch, Learn and Network to expand her knowledge of Bridges, but she also admitted later she’d had a strong unexplained feeling she should “just attend.”

Upon arriving, Mary met the Treehouse founder, Judy Cockerton. Mary shared that she has been a foster mom for dozens of years. She continued on to say how more than ten years ago, she had adored and nurtured a pair of sisters for more than two years, but then, with the hope of a “forever placement,” they’d left her home. Mary had tried to find them for many years but, due to privacy rules, could not. Judy asked what their names were, and Mary told her.

Surprise of all surprises: the girls lived right there, at Treehouse! Judy and her fabulous team contacted their current foster mom and arranged for a reunion right then and there. Lots of smiles and joyous tears flowed between all of us as we witnessed the magic of the moment!

Mary reflects… “ I came home to tell my husband the news, and we shed tears of joy.” She has contacted others who were involved in the girls’ lives at the time: their teachers, Girl Scout leader, and school friends. Mary is planning a party to reunite everyone this summer.

We at Bridges Together are so grateful to be journeying with Mary. She began as a Bridges volunteer at a parochial school in the early 2000s, and then decided to help coordinate the volunteers. She has worked with Andrea Weaver, Bridges Together’s executive director, to bring Bridges programs to the regional public middle school, and hopes to implement a program soon in the public elementary school.

Bridges Together is uniting like-minded people who are committed to fostering intergenerational opportunities! The results of those gatherings are transformative. Join us and see! And if you have an intergenerational story like Mary’s to share, please contact us at Debbie@BridgesTogether.org.


Sarah V.

Sarah_VSarah V.
Fourth grade teacher, Burlington, MA

I truly love to teach… I really enjoy Bridges and the connection it provides to our community.  I am consistently surprised at how much I learn from our volunteers.  I have made some wonderful friends through this program and I am thrilled that we can foster our love of children and learning together.


Spring into Summer 2016

Get your tickets now! On April 3, 2016, Bridges Together will be hosting a very special event at the historic Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury! “Spring Into Summer” will feature a three-course, gourmet brunch with complimentary mimosas. To add to the day, live music will be performed by an a cappella women’s quartet, The Fourmidables. There will be wonderful raffle items and a silent auction.  An award will be given to Dr. Edgar Klugman for his lifetime of work advocating for and enriching the lives of children and older adults. Tickets ($50/person) can be purchased online, and the proceeds of this will event will enable us to unite older adults and children in even more communities. So get your tickets today. We promise that you will have a great time as we spring into summer!  As an added bonus, The Wayside Inn will be offering a special: a good night’s rest in one of their quaint rooms, dinner and breakfast for approximately $90 per person.

(Download our printable flyer here!)

Auction Items

The auction items for Spring into Summer 2016 are rolling in! Check in periodically to see what you can bid on. Thank you to the following establishments for their donations:

Private recital by classical guitarist in the setting of your choice, such as your living room (value $1,000), Concert in Your Living Room

Full-size homemade quilt — made with love by the Bridges Together Staff (value PRICELESS), Black Wolf Quilting Studio

2 seats for the filming of four Eat Well Be Happy cooking shows (value $300), Debra’s Natural Gourmet

Ceramic bowl (value $300), Meredith Mann Clay/Art

Generations portrait session (value $250), Just So Designs

Chiropractic medicine services (value $250), Concord Health Center

Gift card (value $200), 29 Sudbury

One pair of athletic shoes (value $180), Marathon Sports

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum toothbrush (value $180), Dr. Vidya Reddy, DMD

Gift certificate (value $150), Hounds Barbershop

Gift certificate and floral arrangement (value $140), Stow Greenhouses

Four half-hour private music lessons (value $140), Note-worthy Experiences

90-minute in-home massage (value $125), Ellen Smith

One month of unlimited youth performance classes (value $115), The FieldHouse Sudbury

2-night/3-day stay for your pet (value $105), Tails by the Wayside

Gift card (value $100), 29 Sudbury

Gift certificate for smoked fish and cookbook (value $100), Durham’s Tracklements

Dinner for two (value $100), The Wayside Inn

10 $10 gift certificates (value $100), Nancy’s Airfield Cafe

Gift certificates (value $100), Allegra Printing

30-day gym membership (value $80), Global Fitness

One dozen roses (value $75), Frugal Flower

Gift basket (value $70), Duck Soup

4 admission passes (value $60), Concord Museum

2 admission passes (value $54), New England Aquarium

Spa manicure for you and a friend (value $50), Invidia Salon and Spa

Gift certificate (value $50), Karma Coffee Roasters

1 seat at cooking school (value $50), Bullfinchs Restaurant and Catering

Haircut and a basket of products (value $50), Supercuts

Gift certificate (value $50), Edible Arrangements

3 books (value $49), The Concord Bookshop

One-day pass for 5 people (value $40), Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary

2 $20 gift certificates (value $40), Petros Pizzeria + Grill

Bird feeder and seed (value $40), Wild Birds Unlimited

Gift certificate (value $25), Bartlett’s Family Garden and Market

Gift certificate (value $20), Learning Express

Build Your Own Intergenerational Bridge

“Whereas before, my ideas about our intergenerational/multigenerational programming possibilities were somewhat amorphous, now I have much more concrete ideas about what we might try, how we might approach things, and what we should consider and plan for. Thanks so much!”

At Bridges Together, our goal is to empower and equip others to implement intergenerational programs in their own spheres of influence. Some people seek to create an intergenerational program that suits their specific community and its needs; they seek out our expertise to help guide them. Here are ways that Bridges Together can assist you in tailoring your own IG initiative:

 “Very engaging and informative. Great ‘brain sparks’ were shared, new ideas and new networks! Thank you! There is great value in today’s workshop. I truly learned the ‘ins and outs’ of IG programs, including the base of the program such as the human development theories all the way to implementation and budget. I will use this new knowledge to transform our old grandparent program into our new, intentional, reciprocal program. Thank you!”


The Ins and Outs of Planning Your IG Program

Register now

Wherever you are on your IG journey, we can help!

Have you been asked to start an intergenerational (IG) program, or do you have a great idea for one but don’t know where to begin? Perhaps you are somebody who has a great program already in place but want extra tools to strengthen it. Or, maybe, you’re just intrigued and are wondering what this intergenerational stuff is all about. This day is for you! In this fun, hands-on workshop, you will learn the basics of intergenerational programming, including what IG programs are, why we need them and how to create effective ones. We’ll cover topics ranging from the theoretical (such as human development theories) to the nitty-gritty (including convening a leadership team and recruiting participants). Wherever you are on your intergenerational journey, you will take away practical techniques and useful strategies to unite bookend generations. Prepare to network with area colleagues and be inspired! This day will be led by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, Founder and Executive Director of Bridges Together, Inc. and an intergenerational specialist with over 20 years in the field. Morning coffee and lunch will be provided.

This program was just recently approved by NASW for five Social Work Continuing Education hours for re-licensure. Please let us know if you will be using this program for CEUs; there is a $25 fee.

Ins and Outs of Planning Your IG Program Workshops are scheduled for:

Join our email list to stay up-to-date with the latest schedule. You can also check our calendar, or contact Debbie directly at Debbie@BridgesTogether.org or 978-793-9650.

Sign up now for IG news!

Coffee Connections

Register now




coffee-conversation-group-webAt Bridges Together, we believe that dynamic ideas and initiatives often start with like-minded people gathering around a common issue. That is what the Bridges Together Coffee Connections are! Wherever you are on your intergenerational (IG) journey, being able to share successes – as well as seek advice on things that may need a little fine-tuning – is key to initiating as well as keeping your IG efforts flourishing and fresh. Each gathering includes time to network, learn about other programs, develop some new strategies and discuss intergenerational issues. Coffee Connections run from 9 am to 11 am and will include coffee (of course!) and light refreshments.

Coffee Connections are scheduled for:

For more information about Coffee Connection events, check our calendar, or contact Debbie@BridgesTogether.org or 978-793-9650.


Sign up now for IG news!

The Coffee Connections are underwritten by the Massachusetts Council on Aging (MCOA).

Empower Hour Webinars

Log on from wherever you’re located!

Bridges Together is excited to offer these free, online learning opportunities for anyone interested in the components of strong intergenerational programs. Want to learn how you can introduce or enhance an intergenerational (IG) program in your community? Join us for a 30-minute, interactive webinar that will focus on the following topics and address all of your questions. Log on from your desk or home to receive intergenerational primers on the following topics. Empower Hour webinars will be held from 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM EST on:

Register for webinar(s) here.


Presentations and Workshops

“I thought today was excellent. I really enjoyed all of the movements, activities and discussions that correlated with the human development theories. It was also really special for me to connect with ‘seasoned elders.’ Thank you for a wonderful experience!”

Andrea leading an Ins & Outs of Planning Your Intergenerational Program workshop at Generations Inc. in Wisconsin

Are you looking to train your staff on intergenerational (IG) issues? Are you organizing a symposium or conference and need a dynamic speaker to address IG issues?

For more than 25 years, Bridges Together Founder and Executive Director Andrea J. Fonte Weaver has been presenting memorable and empowering workshops across the country. With the Bridges Together staff, she provides tangible tips based on human development theories as well as extensive hands-on experience.

Participants of these interactive and engaging sessions leave with knowledge, guidance and practical tips that lead to concrete plans and action.

These workshops and presentations can be customized to fit your specific needs, including the exact topic and duration, often one to three hours. We can accommodate you at Bridges Together HQ in Sudbury or can travel to your venue. Common topics include:

  • Step by Step: The Tools for Building an Effective Intergenerational Program
  • Grandparents & Grandchildren: Nurturing These Special Bonds
  • Training Older Adults: Best Practices
  • IG: A World of Many Options



Training for the Bridges Program Curricula Suite

bridges training collegeAre you one of the many professionals who want to implement a successful intergenerational (IG) program but you don’t have the time or knowledge to do the planning? Let Bridges Together train you to implement our off-the-shelf, ready-made Bridges Program Curricula Suite.

Our award-winning, evidence-based programs have been in use for 25 years, engaging more than 13,000 older adults and young people.

The purchase of each Bridges program includes approximately six hours of training for you and your colleagues to ensure you have the insights and basic tools to begin implementation of a successful IG program in your own community.

Find out more about the Bridges programs by contacting Julie Shaw via email or at 978.793.9509.


One-on-One Coaching

111514  Andrea and AlisonDo you have a great idea, a vision, for an intergenerational (IG) program but are not sure how to bring that to reality? Who can join you to make this happen? Where will you find funding?

For more than two decades, Andrea J. Fonte Weaver has been mentoring professionals in how to implement their own visions. She has successfully led a variety of IG programs including those that:

  • grow out of senior centers and encompass the greater community
  • create ‘museum’ exhibits for local history including using IG research teams
  • train, supervise, and evaluate older adults as volunteers in schools

Get started today.  Contact Debbie directly at Debbie@BridgesTogether.org or 978-793-9650.


The following publications are relevant to Bridges Together work and/or general intergenerational programming:

_homepage-hug--22-smallBridges Together

“Making Connections: The Legacy of an Intergenerational Program” by Edward H. Thompson, Jr., PhD, and Andrea J. Weaver, MA in The Gerontologist, (advance publication) July 2015

“Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver in Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, June 2014

“Why We Need Intergenerational Programs” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, 2014

“Multiple Intelligences or Smarts Theory” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, 2014

“Socio-Emotional Human Development Theory” by Monica Romig, Spring 2014

“Cultural Continuity: Passing on What We Hold Most Dear” 2015

“Intergenerational Programs: What They Are and Why We Need Them” by Andrea J. Fonte Weaver, 2016

Intergenerational programming

Why Intergenerational Play?

Intergenerational Programs: Past, Present and Future by Sally Newman

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships





Aging and IG Initiatives at a Glance

We are grateful to be partnering with the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging to host a Statewide Intergenerational Strategies Summit. Last year Secretary of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner approached Executive Director Andrea J. Fonte Weaver about presenting her with a ‘Top Ten’ list of ways that she can promote intergenerational programs at the state level.

In preparation for this Summit, we have compiled the following resources on aging:

Beth Johnson: Intergenerational Practice, Policy and Performance

Dublin City University: 10 Principles for an Age-Friendly University

Generations United: Creating an Age-Advanced Community

Generations United: Uniting the Changing Faces of America

Massachusetts State Plan on Aging: 2014-2017

White House Conference on Aging 2015

World Health Organization: Global Age-Friendly Cities

Related Organizations

  • Generations United is the national organization dedicated to intergenerational (IG) efforts. Generations United’s mission is “to improve the lives of children youth and older people through intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for the enduring benefit for all.”  Its weekly newsletter is very informative and includes information on IG efforts as well as grant and learning opportunities.  More information is available at GU.org.
  • American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY®) is dedicated to “addressing the issues surrounding the silent, vulnerable and hidden population, conservatively estimated to exceed 1.4 million children, who provide care for family members who are unable to manage life independently.”  The AACY® mission is “to increase awareness about the effects on children who provide care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly and/or disabled while fostering the replication of the Caregiving Youth Project model within Florida and the US; to provide direct and indirect support services for caregiving youth and their families; and, to establish the Institute on Youth Caregiving.”  More information is available at AACY.org.
  • Jumpstart is a national early education organization that trains volunteers to implement a targeted language and literacy curriculum in preschool classrooms. Jumpstart’s Community Corps program was created 11 years ago to leverage the expertise and dedication of older adults looking to make a difference in their communities.  Jumpstart volunteers develop strong relationships with children, fostering their academic and social-emotional skills. The Boston program currently serves classrooms in South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan.


IG Facilitators

Facilitators can help you plan, launch, and execute an intergenerational program in your own community.

Bridges Together provides this service (email info@BridgesTogether.org), as do several other organizations in our region. Here are a few:

Between the Lines Poetry

Between the Lines Poetry offers an intergenerational poetry program in which high school students and older adults meet for six weeks to read and discuss poetry relevant to both age groups. Our lively and spirited discussion focuses on personal responses to a poem rather than trying to extract the meaning of the poem.  Each student is paired with one or two older adults, and they work closely together thoroughout the six weeks so the relationships can develop; several friendships have continued beyond the time spent in the program. For more information, visit betweenthelinespoetry.com or contact Patti Russo at pattirusso317@gmail.com

Family Stories through Art 

Did you know that children lose early memories by the age of 7 or 8? But if a caring adult weaves those memories into story, children retain the stories even though they have lost the actual memories (Emory University).  In this workshop, grandparents and grandchildren strengthen family bonds by together using simple collage techniques and writing to transform one of their family stories into a beautiful book. Instructor scans, edits, and prints the first book, and prepares a file so participants can print more copies for family members. For more information, visit sharonsantillo.com, or contact Sharon Santillo at santillo.art@gmail.com or 617-299-1768.

Sages & Seekers

The Sages & Seekers eight-week program is designed to bring high school or university students together with older adults, engaging these young adults in a thoughtful examination of how life is lived and how personal challenges are overcome—powerful inspiration as they are beginning to build their own sense of identity and personal independence. More open to learning from adults outside of their families, the younger generations can be guided by impartial, yet caring adults who can be more accepting of who they are and the choices they are considering. This program builds writing, listening, public speaking and interviewing skills, but more importantly develops empathy in a generation dominated by technology. For seniors, this program allows them to feel more relevant, less isolated and invisible, as well as to engage in a valuable “life review.” For more information, visit sagesandseekers.org or contact Elly Katz at ekatz@sagesandseekers.org or 508-444-8821.

Music & Memory

Music & Memory is a nonprofit organization that uses personalized music to help improve the quality of life of older adults living in nursing homes and other settings. Currently in over 1,400 facilities across the nation, Music & Memory combines the talent and skills of young individuals with technology, while helping older adults reconnect with the world around them. For more information, visit musicandmemory.org or contact Alexis Gregos, Music & Memory outreach coordinator at agregos@musicandmemory.org.


If You're an Educator...

If You Work with Older Adults...

Bring Bridges to Your Center!

Use the Bridges or a custom program for your senior center. You can also join our membership, attend an event and more!

If You're a Grandparent or Parent.....

Bring Bridges To Your Home!

Integrate IG activities into your household using our printable Springboards. Join our membership to get monthly activities!