Intergenerational Literacy

THE COMMUNITY LITERACY CENTER KEY INITIATIVES

The CLC has launched an Intergenerational Storytelling Project, an outgrowth of our successful Intergenerational Book Club. The program is designed to facilitate conversations and the sharing of cultural and family heritage among intergenerational families (i.e. children being raised by their grandparents or a relative caregiver other than their parents), as well as share and preserve family histories. We have teamed with the Larimer County Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group (LCGRG), which supports relative caregivers through monthly meetings and community services and advocacy. Participants in the Intergenerational Storytelling Project meet biweekly for five months and partake in a variety of activities, including the sharing of favorite books, recording of family histories (in the tradition of National Public Radio’s StoryCorps and This I Believe), writing exercises and critical literary discussions during book club.

The emphasis is on sharing stories and documenting family histories to bring generations together and create a permanent family record. We accomplish this through family interviewing with digital recording equipment in addition to written stories, and we will collect these in a print anthology/audio CD at the end of the program. We also plan to create and maintain an audio archive of the stories collected in these sessions.

The CLC’s Intergenerational Literacy program began with the Intergenerational Book Club, which functioned from 2005-10. It involved reading partnerships between members of intergenerational families, who were give six free books centered on a topic, such as “change.” The books were selected based upon recommendations from reference librarians at the Poudre River Public Library District and faculty at CSU.

Project Goals

    • To provide free and accessible reading and writing opportunities to a population that does not always have the time or resources to make literacy a regular and enjoyable activity
    • To increase literacy activity through intergenerational community-based literacy work
    • To engage parents, grandparents, relative caregivers and children in active dialogue and collaboration through literacy activities (reading a shared text and responding in writing)
    • To invite participants to engage in cross-generational self-reflection and to recognize learning as a lifelong process
    • To provide fun and engaging English-language literacy opportunities to complement efforts of people in our community learning English as a second language