Sunday, March 13, 2011

Writing Contest Encourages Intergeneration Connections

Next month will mark the 11 year anniversary of my organizing monthly visits to a local assisted living facility.  Ever since my son was one year old, he and his peers have been going every month to bring some joy and to create some bonds with some seniors.  We have done so many different things with the residents of this assisted living community--played games, done old fashioned dances (Charleston, anyone?), watched educational films, made ice cream in a bag, read Christmas stories, carved Halloween pumpkins, and done many, many crafts together.  We've benefitted a lot from the regular contact with older citizens, although I also consider it to be one of our community service projects.

This year, however, the assisted living facility is having our students interview the residents about their lives and opinions.  Each month, one or two students ask a resident one question on what advice they would give young people month, it was education, another month, it was being married or having a mate or partner.  At the end of the year, the company will compile all the responses and publish them as a book.  It has been really interesting, because we are learning more about the lives of the residents, and I hope our children are listening to some of their wise advice.

So I can recommend entering a writing contest I discovered lately.  The "Listen To A Life Contest" being sponsored by the Legacy Project seeks to connect young writers with people over 50 (parents not included).  The elder tells the student or students (ages 8-18) true stories about his or her life, and the student(s) turn it into a 300 word (maximum) essay.  There is one grand prize of a computer and iPod nano, $800 in learning software, and an additional $25,000 of software for the school, and 20 runner up prizes of an MP3 player and $400 in software.  However, the deadline is March 31, 2011, so writers will have to get started soon (click here for a full set of rules).

Of course, I think everyone can be a winner with this contest, because I think anything that encourages our kids to learn from these wise, seasoned elders is a great gift than any piece of technology.

No comments:

Post a Comment