Palo Alto, CA – The Palo Alto City Library has just concluded an innovative pilot program series, “Creating Connections: Teens and Seniors Connect Through Technology.” This library technology program series, in partnership with Avenidas and the Oshman Family JCC, brought 25 teens and 35 older adults together for an intergenerational technology learning experience at local community centers from March through August.
Older adults and teens learned about today’s popular technologies from expert presenters, explored topics using mobile devices, and exchanged perspectives in conversation. Topics included digital video, technology and the brain, privacy and security, iPads and iPhones, digital photography, social networking with Facebook, and games.
The program series included 28 events with a total attendance of 451. Participant surveys demonstrated that the learning sessions improved seniors’ technology knowledge and enriched the lives of both generations. Both teen and senior participants described the experience as a good way to get to know non-family members of another generation and discover common ground.
Palo Alto City Library Senior Librarian Jessica Goodman explains, “I developed this project to meet the demand by older adults to learn how to use today’s popular technologies for communicating with family and experiencing contemporary culture.” The project offered teens a community service opportunity that demonstrated how older adults value teens’ knowledge and perspective. The project thus served the Library’s goal of supporting the 41 Developmental Assets for Adolescents model by providing teens with a valuable role in the community. The Developmental Assets model, created by Search Institute (www.search-institute.org), builds positive values, relationships, skills and experiences that help young people thrive.
The Creating Connections pilot program wraps up with a concluding celebration for participants on Thursday, August 22, 4-5 PM, at the Lucie Stern Community Center. At this final event, City of Palo Alto CIO Jonathan Reichental will speak about the concept of a digital city and digital citizens. Senior Librarian Jessica Goodman says, “The Library is pleased to support the City Council priority of Technology and the Connected City by creating this intergenerational learning program for both teens and older adults to develop the necessary skills to be engaged digital citizens.”
This project is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. Additional support generously provided by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.
For more information about the Palo Alto City Library’s programs, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/library
or call 650-329-2436.
For more information about Avenidas, visit avenidas.org or call 650-289-5400.
For more information about the Oshman Family JCC, visit www.paloaltojcc.org or call 650-223-8700.
For more information about the 41 Developmental Assets for Adolescents in the Silicon Valley area, visit www.projectcornerstone.org/html/developmentalassets.html