Fiction stories written by one generation, and illustrated by another,
across cultures, across the country.
This exciting project kicked off in the spring of 2008, and promises to be a national opportunity to enrich intergenerational connecting in the areas of creative writing and illustrating. Mrs. Marie Firth, a resident participant in the original Meadows School Project™, was an unsung author. Upon discovering her prolific pastime, IG organizers suggested publishing some of her stories for all to enjoy.
Soon, students who had sat at Marie’s knee listening to the stories read from yellowed sheets of dog-earred paper were involved drawing their impressions of her words and imagery with simple pencils and black felt pens. The resulting partnership of word and picture created book one, “Brenda Bear”. Now we are ready with a ten book fiction series written by Marie, and illustrated by students of various ages who had participated in the IG project over the years!
The first box set was launched in April 2009. The ten stories with their unique illustrations spanning artistry from grades four to twelve, are receiving top marks. The target market is elementary, middle school, home and public libraries. Profits from the sales go to a Scholarship fund for youth illustrators and authors involved in IG activities.
This box set is to serve as a model for other IG projects across Canada. It is hoped other IG participants will come on board with the Meadows School Intergenerational Literacy Project™ so that we can centralize the effort, create a national collection, and all benefit from the IG promotion, distribution, and sales, while creating authentic, creative IG connections across the country.
Unlike several excellent projects across Canada where students have interviewed elders and published their research, (e,g, “Generation to Generation Haliburton Seniors Tell Their Stories” ISBN 978 0 478418502), the Meadows School Intergenerational Literacy Project™ is looking for fiction stories, or fiction based on fact. The partnership of the writer and illustrator is key in this project and in each case, the two generations each take on one of the roles of either writer, or illustrator.
We have found already that there are many unsung authors and illustrators in care facilities, and retired living in private homes. We have also found many budding artists and writers in the younger population.
The goal of this IG literacy project is to connect writer and illustrator in a simple-to-publish format, low cost, with wide distribution. This union may come from participants in the same project, or may in fact join an East coast grandfather of Italian decent, with a west coast First Nations youth illustrator. Compilations are also an option with several students writing shorter stories on a theme, connected in one book, with one or more senior illustrators. With the benefit of the internet, and the expertise of our publisher, Night Owl Prints and Copies, these combinations are possible.
When generations connect, anything is possible!
Photo Credits: Martin’s Photo Studio
The i2i Intergenerational Society and Spider Agile Technology/DIRTT Environmental Solutions are proud to announce the winner of the first ever Intergenerational Scholarship. The 2009 recipient of the $500 award and book set gift was Amanda Fehr, a grade twelve student from Kalamalka High School in Coldstream, BC. Presenting was Steve Firth, author Marie Firth’s son. The award was made possible from sales of books which were developed through the Intergenerational Immersion Literacy Project. Applicants for the scholarship were required to have an interest in creative writing or illustrating, and had to show previous involvement with seniors. Amanda will be training as a health care worker starting this fall. Congratulations!
i2i Scholarship awarded June 2010 to Tessa McLaughlin
i2i Scholarship awarded June 2011 to Kyra Urbas
The Meadows School Intergenerational Project Gift is available at Kalamalka High School again this year. This $500 scholarship is awarded to a Grade 12 student who has involvement with seniors and enjoys writng or drawing. The next recipient of this scholarship will be presented by i2i’s new president, UBC-O student Sam Nolan in June 2012.