|There are three levels of immersion into intergenerational bridge building:
- Baby steps – first time involvement, intermittent connecting, low planning
- Mama steps – comfort with involvement, regular connecting, planning varies
- Full immersion – previous experience, confident partners
Just as in the old time children’s game of “Mother May I?”, you as an individual must decide very assuredly what you are capable and willing to facilitate, and how your partnership groups and participants will support the implementation, and assist in the sustaining of your plan. Once you have made the decision, there are numerous resources on-line to assist you. It is the purpose of this site to show, and share, projects at all levels of immersion and involvement.
Please check back here on a regular basis as we highlight projects that are in the planning and implementation stages. You will find a brief outline of each project and contact addresses of the participating groups. Hopefully this will be helpful in connecting you to strengthen new, developing, and on-going IG relationships.
There are some rules of IG engagement that apply to all entry levels to ensure the best chance at success:
- Critical lessons must be pre-taught. RESPECT is paramount.
- Time must be given – you cannot rush an elder nor a child or youth and expect it to be a good day.
- Participants must have some openness to the prospect of togetherness.
- No matter how long or short, distant or intense the inter-action is, organizers must have clear goals in mind, and the activities must support those goals.
- Once underway, input from all participant groups should be sought through both formative and summative assessment approaches, and finally organizers must celebrate and build on successes. This means that the older adults and the youth/children participants must be an authentic part of the planning and implementation decision making. This is must be truly a team effort if it is to be sustainable.