Kathy Maron-Wood, Senior Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh sent this very neat program along...how great would it be to do this?
A few years ago, Marion Streiff and I put together an Intergenerational
program. She was working in the Social Sciences Dept (CLP, Main) at the time;
she is currently the Manager of the Mt. Washington Branch.
She was working with a group of senior citizens that were interested in reading
to children. I contacted the Carnegie Mellon University Cyert Center for Early Education. They
had a group of 4-5-year-olds that were interested in doing this. For the first visit, the kids came to the library. I gathered a group of books for the seniors to read, they looked through them and chose what they wanted. The day the kids arrived was absolutely wonderful. I had not done any instruction of how to read with the seniors, but they were out of this world. One fellow talked about what the cover looked like and what did the kids suppose the book was
about? And did they think the book took place around here? I was so impressed!
The next visit was to the Center. The seniors arranged for carpooling. The Center provided parking, and what a day we had! The Center went all out to make the seniors feel comfortable and welcome. They heard stories, were given a tour of the Center, and ate ice cream with the kids when all was said and done--I unfortunately couldn't stay for the ice cream!
The last visit was back at the library. The kids had written books and read
them to the seniors. It was truly a great experience and one I will long remember!
I would highly recommend this to anyone, but it does take cooperation from both sides and willing groups to participate. We were fortunate to have both.