Storytelling has been a popular activity in a variety of settings. From team building exercises to therapeutic uses, many are finding the exercise of creating personal stories to be a powerful outlet. The Spokane Spokesman-Review reports on a new local project that is taking the beneficial takeaways of storytelling and using it as an intergenerational bridge. Writing Across Generations, a pilot project, is going to virtually match teens with older adults so they can collaborate on storytelling. It will involve virtual meetings between the groups, and is set to last for eight weeks.
The project already has enough students enrolled but is allowing more older-adult volunteers to join. Students were recruited through a public-school site, and Writing Across Generations is working with the local YMCA to get older adults to register. Understanding that technology may pose as a barrier for older adults connecting to the program, director Justin Eisenstadt plans to offer computer training. The general set-up of the eight-week program is that students will be asked to do at least one writing entry every week. Then groups of two students and one older adult will meet virtually to discuss the stories. (Older adults can also write stories, but the focus is on student storytelling.) Eisenstadt believes this program naturally makes room for the idea of older adults’ mentorship for the teens as they begin to discover ways to write their own stories.
Writing Across Generations was an idea that sprouted from the damaging effects of COVID-19 on social well-being and is now hoping to connect teens and older adults for virtual socialization, while also allowing participants to engage in personal and often powerful storytelling.
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Lind T. “Connecting generations: Pilot project Writing Across Generations links teens, senior adults starting April 12” The Spokesman-Review. https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/mar/01/connecting-generations-pilot-project-writing-acros/ . Accessed March 11, 2021.