LINKages is ready and excited for the new school year and we’ve been gearing up for our info sessions at schools around the city to start collecting applications for our Intergenerational school programs. We receive so many applications from students and it is really great to see youth who are excited to volunteer!
Our Intergenerational school programs are mutually beneficial for both senior and youth in so many ways. We are constantly amazed by the things that the youth learn from their senior friend, as well as the impact the friendships have on both the senior and the youth. Although there is a long list of these benefits we could provide, it is so much easier to see these benefits in the words of the participants. Here are just a few examples from students and seniors of the benefits they experienced in our programs:
Three students made very sensitive speeches about their experience with LINKages. They said that they were very nervous the first day but at the end of the program they felt that the hour with their senior friend went by way too fast. A student in that program admitted, “I thought we would be here for the seniors, but we learned a lot from them.”
At one care center, a facilitator played a clip from the song, Chicken Dance, and the kids got up and did the actions/dance, the seniors lit up. They started to move. At the end, one of the senior women said, "That was so much fun! I laughed so hard I thought I would pee my pants!"
An emotional reunion happened on a visit to a care center. One of the seniors and a student were paired last year, but it was arranged for them to see each other again in this particular visit. At the moment they saw each other, they gave each other a huge hug and the student even cried. She kept saying “thank you for making this possible, I missed her so much.”
At a Wind-Up party at the end of the school year, a senior remarked, “I have been coming to LINKages for many years now, and I like connecting with the students. They are like my grandchildren.” At that same Wind-Up party, a student added, “I like visiting with my senior friend. It makes a difference in my life to be able to come here and talk with her.”
If you would like to donate to LINKages intergenerational programming and hear more inspirational stories like these in the future, click on the “donate here” bar at the top of the page.