Sixth grade students from the Friends School Haverford went on a fieldtrip to Brandywine Living at Haverford Estates to interview residents for their oral history reports. The intergenerational program was productive and rewarding for both the residents and students.
“I can say that it was incredibly valuable for my students to be able to hear stories about the past from the people who experienced it. Hearing my students talk with such excitement afterward and share the stories they heard between each other was very rewarding,” commented teacher Kathleen McGee.
Each student came prepared with an iPad for recording and a list of prepared questions.
Alex, a student, said, “I was really surprised that we were able to record the interviews on iPads!”
Students were fascinated by the variety of stories and experiences the residents shared. They learned about the history of the fashion industry, figure skating, and WWII. Additionally, a resident who is an alumnus of the Friends School Haverford recounted what school was like “back in the day”.
Some of the stories left a lasting impression on the students, such as working at 9 years old or being a flying bomber in WWII. Stories of WWII were of particular interest as the topic is featured in popular video games.
“It was nice to see the young man write down everything I told him about my time as a soldier. I like knowing that others appreciate the stories I have to tell and I enjoyed his enthusiasm,” said WWII veteran, Julius.
Many of the residents connected with students not just over history, but life lessons.
“Residents had good advice, like follow your passion,” said Princess, a sixth grade student at Friends School Haverford.
Ed, a resident of Haverford Estates, said, “They are very young and may not have the perspective of what we were telling them but in the future they will remember it and have a better understanding of the world.
Brandywine Living at Haverford Estates looks forward to more intergenerational programs and activities through their partnership with Friends School Haverford.
About Brandywine Living
Brandywine Living (formerly Brandywine Senior Living) is a market leader in luxury senior living, including assisted living, memory care and independent living. Founded in 1996, and headquartered in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Brandywine currently operates 29 communities in six states (PA, NJ, NY, CT, VA & DE) with capacity to serve over 3,000 residents.