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Pat Quinn, Governor

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  Intergenerational Literacy Programs  

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Intergenerational Programs logoThe Illinois Department on Aging spearheads a variety of intergenerational literacy programs, one of which relies on older volunteers who help young children, kindergarten through third grade with reading and other activities. Volunteers from a network of retiree groups, civic organizations, churches, businesses, community service agencies and parents help and befriend struggling students while encouraging motivation and enthusiasm toward learning.

An Intergenerational literacy program gives retirees the opportunity to help students improve reading skills while providing a positive influence in their lives.

Although the program is administered by the Department, it is operated locally by project coordinators and steering committees. Each local program has its own identity and operates in a way that is most effective for the community.

Technical Assistance offered:
A 10-minute video, brochures, recruitment tools, training and technical assistance and resources as well as help in planning, developing and initiating a program are available through the Department on Aging.

  Storytelling, Inc.  

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The Illinois Department on Aging partnered with the Illinois Storytelling Festival to create an intergenerational pilot program linking elders with school-age children. In this program, grandparents, elders, and interested others attended workshops that instructed them in the art of storytelling using stories drawn from the participantsí life experiences. The elders then told their stories to school-age children when the stories coincided with the class curriculum. Storytelling is an opportunity for seniors to pass along life's lessons to up-coming generations, reinforce school curriculum areas and make history come alive for students.

An evaluation report by a University of Illinois research team is available. To obtain a copy, contact the Senior HelpLine.

See also "Memory Makers: Intergenerational Storytelling" at the Illinois Storytelling Festival Web site.

  "Read Me a Story" Program  

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Introduced in 1999 through a partnership with the Illinois State Library, Barnes and Noble Booksellers and Access 4 Cable television, the Read Me a Story Program is designed to stimulate childrenís interest in reading and encourage seniors to read to children. Although broadcast is limited to local cable companies, this program offers an excellent tool for recruiting volunteers to read to children. A program guide book offering ideas and suggestions for creating a video series showing seniors reading children's stories is available.

To obtain a guide book, contact the Senior HelpLine.

  "Intergenerate!" Tool Kit  

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an illustration of an intergenerational group of peopleThe "Intergenerate!" Tool Kit is designed to encourage communities to celebrate intergenerational activities. Reported activities included a bubble-blowing party and wave pool outing for adult day service, a child care center and a teen volunteer program.

To obtain a kit, contact the Senior HelpLine or see Publications.

  Intergenerational Program Development Team Training  

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Upon request, the Illinois Department on Aging provides Intergenerational Program Development Team Training.


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For more information on Intergenerational Literacy Programs, contact the Senior HelpLine.

See also publications and Web sites related to Intergenerational Programs:

Section Links

Foster Grandparents Program
Retired Senior Volunteer Program
More Volunteer Programs
Related Web Sites

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