Intergenerational literacy initiatives involve two or more generations within a reading project, most often with children being the main focus. The "child-only-view" within the reading promotion community is slowly being replaced with an understanding that reading and attitudes towards reading is transmitted from one generation to the next, within the family and outside. Thus, all generations need to be involved, and all generations might benefit from such kind of projects. Benefits might not only be in terms of literacy however, but may also promote a stronger bond within generations. How can such projects be implemented?
"Whose Grandma Are You?"
Jim Elderton film maker
A one hour documentary about the Meadows School ProjectTM
i2i thanks community-minded film maker, Jim Elderton for his initial and continued support. After becoming aware of the Meadows School Project through an amateur slide presentation at his Rotary Club, Jim approached teacher Sharon MacKenzie and suggested making a documentary on the project. That commenced copious hours of work for Jim.
He planned, set up lights in the chapel, and guarded his camera from the perils of walkers and size 10 gym shoes, editted and completed a 60 minute film. His biggest challenge was camera-consciousness. Everyone was told "Don't look at the camera." The kids caught on very quickly, and soon became oblivious of his presence. But for the seniors it was difficult. They had been taught from the cradle: "Smile for the camera"! The film was premiered, September 2007, to an audience of 700 in Vernon, BC,CA, with CBC Radio host, Shelagh Rogers.
The full length documentary and three short versions targetting specific interest groups have since been screened in government, community, health and education venues across the country, on YouTube, and to international audiences. Jim grew with the project from the first day when he set foot in the unique off-site classroom at Coldstream Meadows Retirement Community where thirty-three 12-14 year olds excitedly levitated. Jim continues to network others into our mission, and encourages all to share the good news. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words... and a few tears.