Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Grandpa, Please Read Me a Story

Academic journal article Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

Grandpa, Please Read Me a Story

Article excerpt

Intergenerational programs and strategies can build bridges . . . and capacities . . . across generations, and FCS professionals can facilitate the process. Why should we support intergenerational programs?

* Children are our future!

* There is an affinity between young children and the elderly.

* Generations can benefit by doing things with, rather than for each other.

* Elderly persons are educational resources.

* Many adults have positive memories of early relationships with an elderly person.

Southern Utah University Preschool faculty and staff developed an experimental, intergenerational educational project that was based on the above beliefs and the emotions stirred by dePaola's popular children's book Now One Foot, Now the Other. The question posed was:

"Does intergenerational education influence children's attitudes toward the elderly?" The project was designed to examine children's attitudes toward the elderly before and after ten weekly visits of senior citizens to the center.

The Framework

Senior volunteers were solicited at the local senior citizens center. Participating seniors were instructed to interact with the children in whatever capacity was comfortable for them individually. A few chose to participate in physical activities, games, and domestic role-play. The majority gravitated to the bookshelves and rocking chairs.

It became obvious that both children and seniors preferred reading together. …

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