Writing Across Generations

Updated: Jan 8

A virtual intergenerational pilot project developed by RSVP of Spokane County in partnership with McMaster University

RSVP of Spokane County is piloting a virtual intergenerational project to connect students in grades 8-12 with AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers to share stories, forge connections, and promote the benefits of journaling and creative expression.

We're looking for 40-60 students to participate in early Spring 2021.

This project is a collaboration with researchers at McMaster University who are studying creative and supportive ways to improve the cognitive and social wellbeing of older adults.

The platform they've developed, WritLarge, is an online resource for older adults to anonymously share personal life stories. Users can explore stories using themes, keywords, and other criteria, or use the 'Story Roulette' function to read randomly selected entries.

Here's how Writing Across Generations works:

One AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer is paired with two students for 8-12 weeks, meeting once a week using Microsoft Teams breakout rooms.

  • Volunteers will register as YMCA volunteers and undergo background screenings prior to participating

  • Sessions will be recorded for project staff review

During the first four weeks, volunteers and students use prompts and stories from WritLarge to engage in group discussions.

Participants write weekly journal entries and post them to the Writing Across Generations online platform (powered by WritLarge).

  • Group members will read and discuss each other's entries each week

During the last four to eight weeks, student pairs choose a story from their volunteer mentor's life to reflect on and share in a creative way (via essay, video/digital story, podcast, performance, etc.).

The best stories will be selected to feature on our website and share with the greater Spokane community.

If you are an 8th-12th grade teacher or school official interested in having your students participate in Writing Across Generations, or a volunteer interested in serving as a mentor, contact RSVP Director Justin Eisenstadt at jeisenstadt@ymcainw.org or (509) 720-5635.

#VirtualVolunteering #WritingAcrossGenerations #YouthMentoring

Visit Us:

YMCA Corporate Office

1126 N Monroe St

Spokane, WA 99201

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