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Education Worldwide

Intergenerational Projects

Intergenerational literacy initiatives involve two or more generations within a reading project, most often with children being the main focus. The "child-only-view" within the reading promotion community is slowly being replaced with an understanding that reading and attitudes towards reading is transmitted from one generation to the next, within the family and outside. Thus, all generations need to be involved, and all generations might benefit from such kind of projects. Benefits might not only be in terms of literacy however, but may also promote a stronger bond within generations. How can such projects be implemented?

For the purpose of this topic, we will exclude family-related projects and refer to our topics Family Literacy and Early Literacy instead. Following we highlight some projects and initiatives.

Invitation to Intergenerational Immersion

(Video with courtesy of i2i. Learn more about the Meadows school project.)


The Integrated Intergenerational Literacy Project in Uganda

Most intergenerational literacy projects match elderly literate volunteers with children acquiring reading and writing skills. Not so in Uganda. The Integrated Intergenerational Literacy Project (IILP) targets both illiterate children and adults within the same project.

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Lire et fait lire in France

When a child acquires a taste for stories, it will acquire a taste for reading. And mastering reading is essential for getting along in school and life. This is the conviction of the French organization Lire et fait lire – Read and make read.

Lire et fait lire developed out of project in Brest in the 1980s, where local retirees volunteered for running the Nattier school’s library.

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Books Build Bridges

The project Bücher schlagen Brücken (Books build bridges) brings young and elderly people in the German federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia together. Books serve as a tool to connect young and old, providing an opportunity to spend time together and to talk with each other.

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Intergenerational penpals write about books

Connecting young library visitors with elderly people at the Clare Oaks Retirement Community in Bartlett. With this idea in mind started the youth librarian Kimberley Gotches the project Pages Across the Ages at the Bartlett Public Library. Bartlett is an U.S. American town located in Illinois.

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Storygrannies in Estonia

http: / / www.lugemisyhing.ee / EstRA_projektid.htm

Storygrannies is a project aimed at the involvement of grandparents in the activities of nursery schools. The project will be launched together with the Grandparents’ Society and day centres for retired people and will comprise joint activities and events involving grandparents (not necessarily biological grandparents of children) and children of pre-school age on a regular basis. The retired people read, tell stories and carry out educational activities.

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“Allas Barnbarn” - Reading promotion project in Sweden

http: / / www.allasbarnbarn.nu /

For more than ten years, the Swedish society “Riksföreningen för läsfrämjande generationsmöten i förskola och förskoleklass” (National Society for Promoting reading across generations, preschools) has initiated ”Allas barnbarn” (for each grandchild). In this reading promotion project, grandparents regularly read out aloud to preschool children, in preschools and libraries. “Riksföreningen Allas Barnbarn” coordinates and organises training sessions for the “sagoläsaren” (storytellers) and the children.

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Intergenerational Pro..