In Ocean County, Plumsted Township educator Vanessa Liedtka was awarded a $9,000 grant to implement the intergenerational project, Teaching Through Time. The project will begin with students learning to write and read in cursive, and learning how to properly address a letter. Students and seniors will begin writing letters to each other in cursive. They will start off with get to know you letters and move to other topics, based on their correspondence. Students will write an introductory “Bare Your Soul” book to introduce themselves and their hobbies. Senior citizens will do the same. These books will be exchanged at the end of the project.

Throughout the year, students will collaborate with senior citizens on activities that will be done in the community. In November, high school students will participate in a leaf cleanup for seniors in the community. Fifth-grade students will have the opportunity to participate, but it will be voluntary since it occurs over the weekend. During the month of December, students, staff, and seniors will participate in a holiday meet and greet. This will be the first time they meet face to face. Students will create a holiday card for seniors. They will discuss their holiday traditions and sample a traditional holiday food they share with their families. Seniors will be bused to the school. In the following months, students and seniors will meet monthly. They will alternate going back and forth between the school and the senior center. The goal is for the students to teach the seniors about technology. Each student must base their lesson on their partner’s needs. They will have previously discussed this in a letter to each other. When students go to the senior center, they will bring their Chrome books to work with the seniors. The technology will be set up by the school tech team ahead of time at the senior center to be internet ready. Monthly letters will continue to be exchanged to gather information for the next technology lesson and to keep practicing cursive skills.

At the end of the year in June, there will be an end of year goodbye celebration. Students and seniors will present each other with their “Bare Your Soul” books they have been working on throughout the year. They will also create a slide show highlighting the year and what they achieved working together. Parents will be invited so students can showcase what they have been working on all year. The seniors may also invite a guest if they wish.

For more information, contact:

Vanessa Liedtka, Project Coordinator
(609) 758-6800 (school)

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