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Dufferin Arts Council receives government funding for intergenerational program for seniors

Dufferin–Caledon MP David Tilson presented the Dufferin Arts Council with a cheque for $25,000 from the federal government's New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) on March 20th.

Business owner of Storylines, and Dufferin Arts Council member, Nora Zylstra-Savage will help to facilitate a new program, funded by this donation, an intergenerational writing program for local Grade 7 students and seniors. The result will produce a written, historical account of a senior's life in conjunction with a Grade 7 student's exposure to interviewing, writing and learning new skills.

According to a press release issued by MP Tilson's office, The Economic Action Plan for 2014 will propose an additional $5million per year for the New Horizons for Seniors Program in support of additional programs for seniors.

MP Tilson commented on the relevance of this historical program that will offer, “the students more competency when interviewing and it will also help them with their writing skills”.

“Other similar programs covering the history of war and seniors were highly successful,” continued MP Tilson, “I congratulate the Dufferin Arts Council. These kids will really benefit from this as will the seniors and the community.”

Program facilitator and Dufferin Arts Council member, Nora Zylstra-Savage of Storylines has 12 years of experience creating and delivering intergenerational programs and has witnessed the positive long term impact on the children, the seniors and the community.

“This is a really wonderful program and to see the kids relating to the seniors is just amazing. The end result will produce a scrapbook of the seniors' lives and it will be available at the public library,” commented Zylstra-Savage. “It's also great for the seniors as well because the kids easily recognise how important the stories of their lives are realizing one day they too will be seniors.”

The DAC refers to program as ‘Intergenerational Bridging the Gap – Stories and Language Arts'. According to the DAC, the program strengthens the bonds between generations in a community as the youth's attitude and understanding towards the process of aging, as they come to understand stereotypes and the past. Teachers will be on hand to help with the article writing, answering questions, interviewing, composition and editing.

As the program is vitally important to the community, the DAC is hoping there will not be a shortage of senior volunteers who will be open to helping with program's success.

If you would like to volunteer or know a senior interested in volunteering, contact DAC member, Ken Topping at 519-925-2819 or Donna Henderson at 519-942-0917 and share in the intergenerational community experience that is certain to have a lasting impact.

By Alex Sher

Post date: 2014-03-26 17:02:42
Post date GMT: 2014-03-26 21:02:42
Post modified date: 2014-04-03 17:19:49
Post modified date GMT: 2014-04-03 21:19:49
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