Intergenerational Knowledge Exchange

 

intergenerational1

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ontariologo

This workshop was funded by a grant from the Ontario Seniors Secretariat of Ontario

Waterdown is a great example of the development and growth of our communities in the 21st century. A community that at one time had multigenerational families living within a short distance of each other, and where the same families rooted for several decades

We found ourselves wondering why the intergenerational connection is weakening as the community grows.  We concluded through speaking with both younger and older people that the root cause is ageism. Ageism is a set of negative attitudes and a belief about a group of people based on age, and is ingrained both socially and politically.

Our activity was based on planning and providing a one day workshop for youth, (ages approx 16) and seniors (over 65) to share knowledge and skills with the opposite generation in hope to negate “ageism”.

We formed a committee of 3 youth and 3 seniors to plan the event. They met several times as a committee.  The committee determined what activities would benefit both age groups and what the opposite age group might want to learn from the other. After much discussion, it was agreed that the youth would teach the seniors about technology.  We purchased a tablet that could be used for this purpose, and the students also thought the seniors could also bring in their phones and could learn more about the functions of their phones.  The seniors decided the activities that they were comfortable in sharing. They included knitting, sewing, pie making, cooking (making fudge and a one dish stir fry). As well as the activities for the day, we had a motivational speaker talk about some of the differences in the generations and how they affect the other.  The morning section of the workshop included the speaker and learning activities.  Lunch was provided as part of the grant, then after lunch we broke out into discussion groups and had a discussion jar where a person would pick out a topic of discussion and talk about it.  (eg. How much were you paid in your ist job?) There were many different topics of discussion. At the end of the day each participant filled in an evaluation for the workshop. The day was an amazing success! Everyone left with a smile on their face from learning something new and making new friends.