Collaboration of the Generations (CoG) is a program bridging two participant demographics—older adults and school age children. The objectives of this program are:
to engage older adult residents to utilize their talents and resources to improve the quality of their lives as well as the lives of the students of participating schools;
to engage the students in the arts and literacy;
to provide students with a localized historical perspective;
to further an intergenerational understanding;
and to build community through a final performance designed as a neighborhood celebration.
A model program might include one or two workshops for the elders alone, one or two workshops for the students alone, three or four workshops with the students and elders together and a culminating event where students share the elders’ stories.
The Central Indiana Senior Fund funded collaborative projects with students and seniors at thirteen schools and twelve senior facilities in Marion and Johnson counties, serving 425 elementary, middle, and high school students and 175 seniors.
Collaboration of the Generations
Meaningful Student Learning
From Valerie Moore, IHA Program Coordinator: "The most valuable aspect of the program is the way in which residents so cherish the presence of the young children. Both the children and the residents show a genuine appreciation for each other."
In today’s society, there seems to be contrasting communication styles between generations. Today’s younger generation seems to especially value openness and creativity. Collaboration of the Generations provided an interactive and creative way to bridge the gap between elders, or Generation X, and students, or Generation Z. Learning to embrace, respect, and communicate with older adults and utilize their talents and resources encouraged students to use a new perspective while being engaged with the arts. With today’s society growing more and more diverse, being willing to bond with other generations who differ greatly from our own is becoming more important.
CoG positively impacted both students and elders by fostering new relationships that take advantage of generational differences. Through creative arts experiences which provided opportunities for interaction, education, and support, intergenerational understanding and bonds were created. Local seniors were provided with social interactions which proved to be powerful and meaningful, bridging age and cultural gaps.