Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT): An Intergenerational Program for Youth and Older Adults
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The goal of this program is to implement, evaluate, refine, and disseminate an intergenerational program called Building a Community Legacy Together (BCLT). The BCLT program gathers the wisdom of older adults so their advice for living can be passed down to future generations. The BCLT program does this by providing a structured opportunity for high school-aged youth to interview elders living in the community and in senior living settings about their life lessons, and to present these life lessons to their communities. It allows youth to learn about older people and aging, and helps to create respect for the wisdom of age and combat ageism.
In addition, the BCLT program provides youth with an opportunity to develop skill sets that will be useful to them in the future (e.g., interviewing, research, and public speaking skills). From the standpoint of older participants, the program provides an opportunity for elders to benefit from the experience of sharing wisdom with the young. In so doing, it may reduce their sense of social isolation, provide a sense of usefulness, increase self-esteem, and improve their attitudes toward youth.