Thursday, June 7, 2012

Healthy Environments Across Generations

Interested in creating collaborative solutions to increase well-being and health across generations? The Collaborative on Health and the Environment is a great resource for more information, conferences, and more! Visit them at:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest

2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the world changing Clean Water Act. To commemorate this legislation and Rachel Carson's involvment in raising awareness and appreciation for the natural world, the Environmental Protection Agency has announced an intergenerational "Sense of Wonder" project.

This year's project will celebrate a "Sense of Water." Teams 2 or more, composed of an older adult and young person, will express the beauty and wonder of lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, and waterfalls through either poetry, essay, photography, or dance.

Visit The Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest webpage for more information about the contest, and this webpage for more information about Rachel Carson!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Children's Book Review: Say Hello, Lily

Deborah Lakritz. Say Hello, Lily. Illustrated by Martha Aviles. Minneapolis, MN: KAR-BEN, 2010. ISBN: 9780761345114.

When five year old Lily joins her mother on a volunteer trip to Shalom House she shyly meets her former neighbor Mrs. Rosenbaum in her new home. On their way in Lily’s mother introduces her to other residents at Shalom House including Mrs. Seidel and Dr. Berman, who make Lily feel welcomed by telling her about their earlier work as a shoe saleswoman and a dentist. Remembering Mrs. Rosenbaum’s art studio filled with paintings, Lily reluctantly approaches Mrs. Rosenbaum asking her mother, “Do you think she will still have the painting of the lilies?”

On their visit to Shalom House the following week, although she is not ready to talk Lily joins Mrs. Seidel, Dr. Berman and Mrs. Rosenbaum in their exercise class. By the third visit while celebrating May birthdays with residents Lily smiles and talks. This inspires her to handcraft invitations for her new friends to join her upcoming sixth birthday party. When the day arrives, Lily and her parents bring the party to Shalom House with cake, punch and balloons for Lily and her guests to enjoy. Afterwards Mrs. Rosenbaum presents a memorable gift to Lily, her favorite painting of the orange flowers, her namesake. Lily excitedly asks Mrs. Rosenbaum to teach her how to draw flowers.

This uplifting story shows the power of intergenerational kindness as the older adults at Shalom House give Lily the time she needs to learn about them as individuals. Mrs. Rosenbaum speaks wisely early in the story to Lily’s mother, “She’ll be ready when she’s ready.” She empowers Lily to decide when she is comfortable talking and beginning art lessons. As Lily connects with the residents personally she begins to see them as friends with whom she can share something as special as her birthday.
With an uncommon perspective on intergenerational friendship matched with characterful illustrations and accessible narrative, this picture book is highly recommended for public and school libraries, preschools, daycares and other organizations working with children ages 3-8. Families can positively explore concepts with children including assisted living, aging, and multigenerational relationships.

Reviewed by Charity Leonette, Community Partnerships Coordinator, Allegheny County Library Association. This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships © 2011 Taylor & Francis; the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships is available online at: The definitive version was published in Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Volume 9 Issue 2, April 2011. doi:10.1080/15350770.2011.567923 (

Thursday, May 5, 2011

ACLA Intergenerational Academy | Summer Programs

As part of the ACLA Intergenerational Academy, we are pleased to announce the following opportunity:

Create Together: An Intergenerational Art Program
Create Together is a six-week art series for children entering grades 3 through 6 and older adults to collaborate through the artistic process.  Each 2 hour workshop is taught by a local artist introducing participants to various media.   The workshops will take place from 10 am to 12 pm on weekdays.  All workshops start in mid-June (the week of June 13 or 20) and will run for six consecutive weeks.  Workshop size should be 10-12 participants (5-6 children; 5-6 older adults returning each week).  Participants are asked to commit to at least 5 or the 6 weeks.  Most past participants have not known each other in advance; grandparents and grandchildren are also welcome.

On Sunday, August 7 a collaborative art exhibit will be hosted at the Brew House Association, Studio 101.  Hosting libraries are asked to commit to 2-3 hours on Saturday, August 6 to help prepare the gallery for the final show and attend the exhibit for participant recognition.

Each hosting library will be responsible for sharing and collecting brief pre- and post-surveys and photo release forms to participants; providing a list of participant names and total attendance; collecting weekly artwork with participant names until the exhibit; and completing a concluding library survey.   Hosting libraries will also be responsible for creating a local follow up intergenerational program that will engage art program participants as well as new participants.

Library nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, May 10.  Selected libraries will be notified before May 15.  To nominate your library email leonettec [at] with answers to the questions below.

In partnership with the Brew House Association
(Summer; Weekly; Up to $300 in supplies purchased by library)

Intergenerational PALS Book Clubs
The Intergenerational PALS Book Clubs are open to high school students in grades 9-12 and older adults to foster intergenerational discussion and connections within each hosting community.  Clubs meet monthly late in the third week or early in the fourth week.  Books arrive on the 1st of each month including 10 trade paperbacks, 2 large print (when available) and 1 audio book with discussion resources.

Hosting libraries are asked to connect with their local high schools as well as provide feedback including monthly attendance and book title suggestions from readers. Library nominations are taken on an ongoing basis.

In partnership with the Highmark PALS (People Able to Lend Support) Program
(Ongoing; Monthly; No Cost)

Nomination Questions
To nominate your library email leonettec [at] with answers to the following questions.  For more information call Charity Leonette.

  • Library & requesting staff member names
  • Preferred start date
  • What audiences, organizations or individuals are you currently working with who could participate in or support an intergenerational program? (for example a teen advisory board, school, senior center, assisted living facility, other library staff members)
  • Where to you see programs and services to youth and older adults in the next 5-10 years?
  • What vision do you have for intergenerational programming at your library? (includes intentional and purposeful collaborations between children or teens and older adults on series or ongoing basis)
  • If you could create any intergenerational program or services (with no staffing or budgetary restrictions), what would it be?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Legacy Project

This Toronto, Canada, and Washington, DC, based organization is bringing together the generations particularly with their program Across Generations.  They offer free online activities and guides, award-winning books and DVDs, workshops, essay contests, exhibits, community programs, and more.  Across Generations resources are available online a wealthy resource and ready-made intergenerational activities.

The Legacy Project works with children, teens, adults, and elders. Our three banner programs reflect the three levels at which you develop your legacy through your lifetime. LifeDreams explores individual potential and creating your life. Across Generations explores our connections with others and encourages closer relationships between generations.

Create, Connect, Change with the Legacy Project at

Friday, March 25, 2011

Children's Book Review: My Abuelita

Tony Johnston. My Abuelita. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. New York, NY:  Harcourt Children’s Books,  2009.  ISBN:  978-0-15-216330-3.

Morning adventures of a grandmother, abuelita, and grandson preparing for the day’s work explode with imagination in this vibrant picture book.  A loving abuelita and caregiver involves her grandson in her stretching, humming, yodeling, and breakfast making.  When Abuelita is dressed and the car is packed with props, then they are ready to go.  Her young grandson looks forward to the day when he can be as his creative grandmother, a storyteller.

The movements of this expressive story demonstrate a strong intergenerational bond between a talented grandmother modeling acceptance and self-confidence to her grandson.  Even with hair the ‘color of salt’ and face ‘as crinkled as a dried chile’ Abuelita transcends aging stereotypes with vitality.

The vivid colors and textures fill the double-page spreads uniquely illustrated using digital photographs of polymer clay, wire, felting wool, acrylic paints, fabric, wood, metals and Mexican crafts.  Spanish words and their meanings are introduced throughout the story.  Ages 4-8.

Reviewed by Charity Leonette, Community Partnerships Coordinator, Allegheny County Library Association. This review was printed in The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Vo. 8 (4) 2010. Available online at ISSN: 1535-0770.