The young and old may not see eye to eye on everyday matters, much less milestones in society. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t learn from one another.
Through Generations Connect, a new program offered at Rend Lake College, a bridge is built to span the generational gap - one meeting at a time.
Generations Connect discussions were established by students and retirees who attended the first Senate Forum on Intergenerational Leadership convened by Senate President Emil Jones Jr. Sessions are scheduled to be held in September and early October on 40 university and community college campuses throughout Illinois. Discussions will address the differences and similarities in generations and in what ways they can learn from eachother in order to better teach others.
In a Generations Connect forum, younger and older generations are brought together to publicize the importance of contributing their talents toward strengthening the educational system and explore the potential for ongoing dialogue and teamwork.
Generations Connect at RLC will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Culinary Dining Room, located inside the Student Center on campus. It is open to students, educators, retirees and citizens of all ages and is free to attend.
Generations Connect sponsors are the Council of University Presidents, Council of Community College Presidents, Illinois Board of Higher Education, State Universities Annuitants Association, the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Illinois State Board of Education, and the Center for Intergenerational Leadership’s Office of the Associate Chancellor for Diversity at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Those who participate will be assisting the Center for Intergenerational Leadership with studies on the Illinois Intergenerational Initiative. Generations Connect also assists retirees in exploring new directions in their retirement by addressing how higher education can help with their plans.
The discussion will focus on educational issues, since the Illinois Intergenerational Initiative was established in 1986 to tap the wealth of wisdom by involving older citizens in education reform.
Potential topics include world events, multi-cultural events, life styles, life stages, politics and family.
According to officials, the Initiative serves as an information clearinghouse, a catalyst for coalition and system development and an advocate for intergenerational involvement.
This year is the largest of the growing Generations Connect forums since their establishment in 1990. In the first year, discussions were held at seven state universities.
For more information about Generations Connect at RLC, call the Community Education Department at 618-437-5321, ext. 1267, or 1-800-437-5321, ext. 1267 (in-district only).