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Intergenerational Love is in the Air

The Winchester Intergenerational Team (WIT) in Massachusetts is engaging generations in so many ways! This week…

A Pen-Pal Program was launched between McCall Middle School students and older adults through The Jenks. As a wonderful bonus – letter-writing aficionados from Letters Trellis are involved in the project and sharing their expertise with all of us!

The IG Cultural Crafts group made Victorian Pocketbooks and origami hearts. This is their fifth project together over the past year. The group is co-lead by Winchester High School students and a staff member from The Jenks. Participants include older adults and some of their grandchildren. I asked the team what was a highlight for them. One of the student leaders said “About half way through each meeting when conversations just start to flow and people really connect with each other!”

Later this week, high school students will be gathering to put together IG Bags of Love. This is the third time that the students and their Caring Club Advisor are organizing gift bags to be delivered to Meals-On-Wheels recipients and Veterans. I teach that programs take time to evolve and strengthen. The group delivered 50 bags last Valentine’s Day and this year will deliver 100! Also, with Veteran’s Day, they started including handmade cards and letters from students which really touched the recipients. Another highlight for the Veterans' bags were wooden keychains made by a student!

Another group between The Jenks and The Winchester Community Music School has planned an IG Drumming Session for older people with memory impairments and young Scouts. The leaders used my Recipe for Intergenerational Success as a basis for planning their time together. The IG Jam Session was all set for the beginning of January and then Omicron hit. Without losing a beat, they postponed til the spring.

The Winchester Intergenerational Team (WIT) was formed as part of the town’s age-friendly efforts and is funded by a generous grant from Cummings Foundation. It’s awesome for me to see how the community is becoming more age-integrated. Last month, two WIT members led an MLK Day intergenerational program with the League of Women Voters. I’m so looking forward to what we will co-create over the next 18 months!

You can learn more about this project by watching this video which I recorded at our celebration in June, marking the end of our first-year together. I was reminding WIT at our training this month that "B+ is good enough". If we wait for an A+, we may never finish the project. With a B+, we can always improve on the next round. I had to heed my own advice and post this B+ video with hopes for better ones to come!

May each of us be inspired to create and foster loving relationships between generations. As Dionne Warwick sang: "What the world needs now is love sweet love". Truly.

Thank you WIT for all you are doing to nurture intergenerational love in Winchester!

For more information on intergenerational coaching or the Recipe for IG Success, please contact me

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