NextGen Pilot - Reflections from the Field

January 24, 2020

Inspiring stories of intergenerational work are coming in from across the country through our partnership with LeadingAge on the NextGen Pilot Program. From New Jersey to Arizona, from Pennsylvania to Kentucky and from California to Minnesota! We are delighted that over 22 Certified Facilitators and 139 trained students have joined our TimeSlips family from 13 different colleges, universities, and youth serving organizations! One student from Chemeketa Community College in Oregon made a very personal connection when they said, "This is how I would want my grandma and grandpa treated when they get older." 

TimeSlips is developing a Toolkit to support schools and students using TimeSlips in service-learning and coursework. It emphasizes breaking down age stereotypes and encourages students to reflect on what their service learning experiences mean to them. After taking the online training, accessing our support resources, and facilitating a few sessions, a student from Western Kentucky University reflected: “At first I was a little nervous to facilitate storytelling sessions myself... but I've quickly learned that the elders are just happy that you're working with them, and don't mind or even necessarily notice if something doesn't go as you plan. I've enjoyed learning to just go with the flow and enjoy whatever happens during the session; that's kind of what makes it fun. I still get a little nervous before I facilitate… but the process comes a lot more naturally to me now.”

At University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, students created short videos to reflect on their experience in a social work course built entirely around the TimeSlips online training and facilitating weekly sessions at neighboring Fairhaven Senior Services. In her video, one student noted: “Not only do you impact the lives of the residents, but the residents leave a lasting impact on you and remind you how beautiful aging can be. Cognitive and/or ambulatory impairments do not make humans less than whole. They can still engage, learn, create, and teach and that is what you will learn by taking this impactful course.”

Our Student Artist in Residence program, or SAIR, takes our TimeSlips work to the next level. Students receive room and board in a long-term care community in exchange for offering creative engagement workshops designed to build relationships. Oral Roberts University student Rebecca Wood serving as a TimeSlips SAIR at Oklahoma Methodist Manor,said, “To use theater for a purpose that is helping people and making them grow and become more interactive is an amazing thing to be able to be a part of.” Watch the video below to learn more about Rebecca's experience.

NextGen TimeSlips ORU SAIR at OMM from Anne Basting on Vimeo.

Rebecca’s instructor, Norah Swiney clearly sees TimeSlips impact. Swiney  says that “Those with dementia or physical ailments or disabilities have something to contribute, something to share. TimeSlips celebrates that - gives an experience to all generations to share creativity and celebrate the elders and what they can bring to all of us.”

Jennifer Rawlings, Vice President of Wellness at Oklahoma Methodist Manor  noticed a difference in individuals and group dynamics among elders who participate in TimeSlips: “You have your extroverts that love to tell stories and love to talk and kind of shine in some of these programs and all of your events - but its all of those people you don’t expect to shine that are coming out of their bubble and out of their shell and its - amazing.” Learn more about the impact of TimeSlips at OMM.

We look forward to even more success stories and student reflections at the end of this academic year. For questions or more information about NextGen, contact Kari: