What is the Story/Performance of Your Life Program?
LIfe stories provide insight to how life has changed between generations, as well as providing an opportunity for youth and seniors to become friends through storytelling and shared experiences. Students are paired with local seniors at Care Centres, Community Centres, or Seniors Centres to practise skills of journalism, insight, empathy, curiosity, understanding, and patience. Seniors experience affirmation, recognition, trust, and sharing while telling the story of their life to date.
Students decide as a group how to artistically express their seniors’ story (written story, play, song, painting, poem, etc.) and work throughout the year developing their unique creative representation. At the end of the school year, there is a celebration gala where students perform or display their interpretation of the senior’s story to the public, including the “star” senior and their family/friends.
How is the program organized?
Students and seniors are partnered based on mutual interest and geographical distance. Pre-planned and organized programs are facilitated by LINKages’ staff with the support of community or school assistants. Two students are partnered with one senior friend for the duration of the program. At each visit,the participants engage in activities that are intentional, interactive, and fun, designed to help foster mutually beneficial intergenerational connections. Programs are one hour in length, bi-weekly or weekly, and typically run from October to May.
What training is provided?
Information sessions are provided to interested schools in collaboration with an invested school liaison. Students learn about the LINKages’ program and how to apply to be a participant. The students who are accepted into the program must attend a LINKages’ sensitivity workshop before the visits begin. The sensitivity training teaches students about aging, dementia, and how to interact with seniors. Interested seniors also attend sensitivity workshops to learn about youth brain development, common issues they may be experiencing, and how to interact with youth.
How do I become involved?
Are you interested in having a “Story/Performance of Your Life” program in your school, library, place of worship, or community centre?
Please email LINKages at email@example.com for more information and write “Story of Your Life” in the subject heading. We will contact you to determine what is required to start a program in your school or community.