Connecting Generations: A Living History

January 2010-June 2010

Connecting Generations pilot project started

  • thanks to the generous donations of the Salt Spring Foundation, the BC School Superintendents’ Association and the Provincial Ministry of Education’s School Community Connections Program
  • designed to be a living library of human resources connecting people of all generations in face-to-face conversations about shared interests, skills, passions and life experiences
  • 50 registered on the Living Links database, the electronic catalogue of participants

September 2010-June 2011

Connecting Generations – In School

  • continued to connect students with adults, including seniors in the community for conversations about interests, skills and life experiences.

Connecting Generations – Bridging the Gap

  • funded by Service Canada
  • supported by the Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce and our local CARE (Career Assistance and Resources for Employment) agency.
  • forums for  youth and adults in order to encourage face-to-face conversations about job opportunities, career paths, work skills and employer/employee expectations for specific industries/businesses on the Gulf Islands.
  • themes: Tourism and Hospitality, Arts and Entrepreneurship, Health and the Helping Professions, Business and Finance
  • 170 resource people in the Living Links Library

Connecting Generations-Plugged In

  • one Plugged-In “pioneer” coached an enthusiastic adult learner in computer skills

September 2011-June 2012

Connecting Generations – In School

  • connected students and adults for one to one meetings and conversations in small groups.
  • adults came into Planning 10 and Socials 11 classrooms to talk about career paths and life experiences.
  • 20+ students in the Grade 11 Intensive French Immersion program sought opportunities to talk with adults about their independent study projects
  • a group for writers met every other week. Through a grant from the Artist in the Classroom program (Salt Spring Arts Council) workshops were facilitated by Ahava Shira, local poet and writer

Connecting Generations – Building the Bridge

  • funded by Service Canada
  • supported by the Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce, the CARE (Career Assistance and Resources for Employment) agency and Salt Spring Literacy
  • focus groups for local youth and adults to collaborate on a discussion of 21st century employment skills, in particular those required for self-employment.
  • design of this website to be used as a tool for school community connections and a brochure about the Connecting Generations programs. 

Connecting Generations-Plugged In

  • Salt Spring Literacy trained students to coach adult learners
  • adults, including members of the Salt Spring University Women’s Club attend ed lunchtime sessions on social media and computer skills given by high school students and graduates

Growing Innovation

  • The Eleanor Rix Professor of Rural Education at the UBC Faculty of Education, Dr. Linda Farr Darling and the BC Ministry of Education announced seventeen recipients of grants in the Growing Innovation program including Connecting Generations. Projects for 2011/2012 were selected  for their “focus on students in rural communities, innovation, and potential for research”.

250 + names in the Living Links Library, including adults interested in mentoring youth.

September 2012- June 2013

In addition to the programs mentioned above

  • the GISS Writers’ Group created ScatteredChange an anthology of writing
  • we focused on creating support resources for community mentors:

Connecting Generations – Making Space 

  • funded by Service Canada and a Collaborative Research grant from the Ministry of Education
  • included a survey of adults and youth both with and without mentoring experience
  • an intergenerational team collaborated in the design of resources to support mentors and encourage more adults in the community to engage with youth by becoming involved in Connecting Generations 

Growing Innovation

  • a series of webinars about some of the projects funded through last year’s grants included one in April about Connecting Generations. Click here for a recording 

325 resource people in the Living Links Library

September 2013-June 2014

The focus this year was on expansion within School District 64:

Connecting Generations – In Schools

1. Fernwood Elementary

  • an adult met with a Grade 3 student once a week to explore a mutual interest in fossils

2. Salt Spring Elementary

  • a number of adults visited a Grade 4/5 classroom to present to the whole class (creative writing, everyday science, voice-over acting, fight choreography).
  • Other adults worked with small groups of students once a week during their interest-based learning class (Spanish language, dragon drawing, one piano-6 hands…)

3. Salt Spring Middle School: 

  • a forum on Creativity was attended by one magician, 15 local artists and writers and 30+ energetic Grade 7 students
  • a Grade 8 student worked with a local business owner for 6 weeks

4. Gulf Islands Secondary School:

  • conversations between adults and youth and class presentations took place as in previous years
  • the GISS Writers’ Group was funded by the Salt Spring Arts Council for the first semester. In the Spring the BC Arts Council supported “Finding Our Voices” and a second anthology of words and pictures, Paper Airplanes was created
  • an intergenerational team continued to develop a Connecting Generations “game”

Growing Innovation

As part of the Growing Innovation program we explored the research question:

What are the characteristics of meaningful conversations that take place through Connecting Generations between people whose paths may not otherwise cross?

In addition to attending a symposium for school districts participating in Growing Innovation, we presented at the Investigating Our Practices conference on “How change can be thought in education”

375 resource people in the Living Links Library

September 2014-June 2015

Our focus this year is on the ways in which intergenerational conversations support socio-emotional and mental well-being 

More information about this year’s programs under the About menu