The Link Generations Club at Gaithersburg High School celebrated its third year with a special event jazz concert. The GHS Jazz Band performed for students and residents from Charles E. Smith Life Communities Landow House, followed by an engaging discussion about their shared love for music. Residents smiled and waved their hands to the beat of Duke Ellington’s “C-Jam Blues,” Lou Donaldson’s “Caracas” and Charles Booker’s “Sticky Toes.”
The residents and students each talked about how meaningful music is to them, expressing how it connects them to their families and to their cultures. Many of the students are from countries outside the U.S., so this gave them an opportunity to showcase their backgrounds with pride. The program concluded with one of the residents leading the group in singing “Que Sera Sera, Whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see, Que Sera Sera.”
Good Counsel’s Club Discovers Pearls of Wisdom
Good Counsel’s Link Generations Club partnered with Charles E. Smith Life Communities Landow House for the intergenerational piece of its Wisdom Project. The group launched in November with a presentation by one of Landow House’s 100-year old residents talking about how to live a long and happy life. Students listened closely to pearls of wisdom like, “Even in hard times you can find something good. You can find something to laugh about. It is important to be positive.” The group is collecting these treasures in wisdom treasure chests, pictured below.
Students learned that one secret to a long and happy life is to try new things. They heard about the resident’s bucket list, which includes spending time with family and friends, riding a ferris wheel, and paddle boating in the Tidal Basin in front of the Jefferson Memorial. This 100-year old lady did all three!
The group met again in February to talk about wisdom in relationships. They exchanged ideas about wisdom and discovered that while the older generation has more years of experience, the younger generation also possesses wisdom. One young participant summed this up, “Times are changing so we have other experiences, different ways of life.” Some examples are being experts in technology and pop culture.
With a Little Help From My Friends
Link Generations celebrated Friendship February at Charles E. Smith Life Communities by discussing relationships and writing Valentine’s cards to each other. In our fourth year of programming, we have now seen multiple connections between the older and younger generations. We are also seeing friendships form among the residents as well as among the student volunteers. One of the residents offered to perform the Beatles song “With a Little Help From My Friends.” She arranged to have another resident accompany her with his guitar, and also invited one of the talented student volunteers to join their trio. The trio performed, and were eventually joined by everyone in the program singing along. Residents expressed their delight to see some of their non-verbal neighbors smiling, tapping their feet to the beat of the music, and even singing some of the words.
Monthly Intergenerational Program at Ring House
Middle and high school students lead monthly intergenerational activities at Charles E. Smith Life Communities Ring House Sundays, 1-3pm. Upcoming Programs are scheduled for March 15, April 19, and May 17.
2020 Link Generations Summer Storytelling Series
Link Generations is running its fourth Summer Storytelling Series at Ingleside at King Farm in July. Students meet for training and orientation on Tuesday, July 7, 2-4pm. Ingleside residents and students will meet for intergenerational afternoons Thursdays, July 9, 16, 23, and 30. Students meet 1-4pm, with the first 90 minutes reserved for training and education about principles of aging, best practices for working with older adults, and leadership skills. Residents join students 2:30-4pm for the intergenerational portion of the program. Student volunteers must be aged 13-18 and commit to attending all four weeks.
Public Health Notice
Link Generations is staying up to date regarding public health news. The best way to protect yourself and others from any virus is to wash your hands and avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth). We will keep you updated with any programming changes and please, stay home if you are sick.
Getting Down to Business with 2019 Milestones
In 2019, Link Generations completed three years of programming connecting youth and older adults in intergenerational activities benefiting both populations.
- We held 20 education sessions for middle and high school students.
- We implemented 33 intergenerational sessions.
- We reached 173 students and 148 older adults.
- We raised over $70,000 to support program operations and administrative costs.
THANK YOU to all of our generous supporters! We look forward to another productive year of meaningful connections.