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By Sharon McKenzie

Wednesday, June 1st is INTERGENERATIONAL DAY CANADAScreen Shot 2016 06 01 at 10.02.46 AM

If you have ever wanted better health for children, youth and older Canadians,
If you have ever dreamed of preventing bullying and abuse at all ages,
If you believe there really can be all-age-friendly communities,
&
If you like having fun… CELEBRATE WITH US THIS JUNE 1st!

These dreams are coming true in communities across Canada, one step at a time towards another generation. The momentum is growing to build strong intergenerational bridges that connect the young and old, and diminish feelings of purposelessness, isolation, and loneliness, Canada’s number one health concern. Dreams can happen. It is happening. Join the bridge-building team! (intergenerational.ca, cnpea.ca, bccrns.ca etc.)

The governments of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Yukon and Nova Scotia have all proclaimed the day in their provinces.
They recognize the value of connecting children, youth and older adults.
Manitoba and Ontario felt so strongly about this initiative that they have proclaimed this day in perpetuity in their provinces. Way to go central Canada!

Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Gatineau, Brampton, Toronto, Fredericton, Halifax, St. John’s… Cities, West to East, South to North have also proclaimed the day and are planning local and city-wide events to mark June 1st as a day to simply say hello to someone of a different generation. Share a smile, share story, share a song, share a snack. We challenge YOU to make it a day to take one step towards starting an intergenerational relationship.

If you are interested in participating in a simple start-up event, go to intergenerational.ca  for easy and quick kick-off ideas.
This year, try this:

1. Print this poster
2. Write on it what you are doing for IG Day Canada.
3. Take a selfie with the poster, and  
4. Post it on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook

Let everyone know you care about the health of children, youth and older adults, and are doing something positive to bring them together, building more resilient communities.  

This is the seventh year that Intergenerational Day Canada June 1st has been affiliated with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD),  June 15th.
Respectful and purposeful intergenerational relationships are the best way to ensure understanding of ageing, and create a shift away from hurtful ageist attitudes in the future. It’s such a simple solution and it’s at the fingertips of each and every one of us. Start this June 1st. Build the bridge and walk the talk.

There are four excellent free resources on the i2i Intergenerational Society website. The newly published Intergenerational Community Guide can be found on this site and on the site of the British Columbia Community Response Networks (bccrns.ca). These resources give a plethora of simple, inexpensive, fun, field-tested intergenerational activities.
See Intergenerational Immersion in action (Meadows School Project, Vernon and Williams Lake, BC and iGen Sherbrooke Community, Saskatoon, SK), start with a simple half hour project with a few kids and seniors, or consider a weekly or monthly relationship building activity. It’s as easy as playing board games, or sharing a photo or keepsake. Go to intergenerational.ca where you will find links, short videos, wonderful stories, pictures, ideas and resources that will inspire, inform and guide your team.

At the very least… take a single step to see ‘i2i’ intergenerationally on June 1st.

About the author:

SharonMcKenzieSharon MacKenzie, BA, MEd, Executive Director i2i Intergenerational Society, Director CNPEA – British Columbia.
Sharon, Prim/Sec/University teacher, is national advocate for building strong intergenerational relations. Her 35 years of on-the-ground research has shown that respectful and purposeful intergenerational relations improve health and education, prevent mistreatment of all ages, and build more resilient all-age-friendly communities.Founder and Executive Director of i2i Intergenerational Society (2008), she is researcher/writer of four government funded intergenerational resources. Her organization initiated nationally celebrated Intergenerational Day Canada June 1st (2010), in support of WEAAD.Sharon is founder of the world-renowned Meadows School Intergenerational Immersion Project (2000-08). Her work has been recognized for its innovation by the BC Premier’s Award (2009), Rotary (2009), IFA/WHO (2013) and in peer-reviewed journals.Grandmother of 5-under-5, Sharon considers this her greatest intergenerational project.

 

 

 

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