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Dreaming about Legacy

Intergenerational Description of Joint Project

The Intergenerational School and its local Cleveland partner’s Case Western Reserve University and Judson Smart Living collaborated with the Legacy Project (LP) of Toronto, Canada to launch the LP’s YOU177 (Young Old United One Planet Seven Generations Seven Billion People) initiative for end of school “Celebration of Learning.” Countless individuals from all organizations and guests celebrated intergenerational learning and community creation in both countries, including one event at LP’s arboretum. Trees were a theme for original dance, music, visual arts, and even a video game to teach ecosystems thinking. This special project created fun and leaning for the hundreds involved.

Celebration of Rachel Carson’s Sense of Wonder

Various art forms and scientific disciplines brought participants together with the sense of wonder, mystery and awe that motivate both art and science. TIS classroom projects were chosen by students on different aspects of the local ecosystem including our own Doan Brook watershed. Music emphasized passions associated with love of nature. Original lyrics celebrated coming together as a community to develop a sense of responsibility for future generations, i.e. legacy. In Canada we shared stories with the trees inhabiting the arboretum; walking the labyrinth strengthened the same spiritual connections to nature that motivated Rachel Carson in her courageous pioneering/work.

The video is located on YouTube. Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer

Dreaming about Legacy –A Celebration of Learning (and Trees)

Images of children and teenagers singing, clapping, walking, interacting and listening to music with elderly men and women.

Background: Library book shelves, images of children singing and dancing in front of an audience with their instructors, posing for photos with all the program members.

“The Intergenerational School started based on the idea that adults, particularly elders, and youngsters can help each other take their learning to deeper levels. The Intergenerational School is working with a number of community partners, including a new one in Toronto, Ontario called The Legacy Project.”

Background: Video of the Legacy Project members, mostly elderly adults and children, during their music practice sessions. Video of children dancing at a practice session in front of elderly adults and their instructor.

“And this year they have a new project called YOU177; young, old, united, 1 planet, 7 generations, 7 billion people.”

Judith-Kate Friedman:
Background: Video - instructor speaking into microphone, children dancing in a circle pretending to grow by pushing their hands up, stopping, singing the song below, and using their arms to show the growing of a tree)

“What we did is spend about 40 minutes talking about our love of music, and we got into rhythm, and we got into melody, and we got into the story of trees; as you’ll hear we wrote a song about bodies.”

Children sing while dancing:
“She grows (6 times)”
“I have branches”
“I have leaves”
“We have bodies”
“That we can see”
“We have bodies”
“Just like trees”

Background: Video - same library book shelves as before, the cover of the book Dream. Illustrations of what dreams may look like, including:

  1. A tree with a human face and thin branches that turn into hands.
  2. A young person under a blanket with a worried expression.
  3. A collage of: an angel on a horse, balloons, circus entertainers, a mother holding a toddler, and a man with dark skin playing the trumpet.
  4. A room that looks like a laboratory or hobby room inside a castle, with  water outside the window and items in the room, including a black and white TV, a rocket sitting against a wall, a DNA model, a desktop computer, a book on how to build a rocket, and test tubes.
  5. A library with famous historical figures, including Ann Frank, Albert Einstein and Mozart.
  6. A giant tangled hose with people walking on it, playing games like catch and juggling, others holding hands or jumping on it, and even people walking upside down.
  7. A person climbing a tall hill with Big Ben in the background and clouds beneath, white birds flying across the image, and a sign at the top with multiple street/path options.
  8. The same tree as before with the human face, this time blooming with leaves, flowers and some sort of fruit; a family of people with dark skin gathered around the tree making flower halos, collecting the fruit, and raking the leaves.)

“One of the most powerful aspects of intergenerational relationships is storytelling. Susan Bosak, our friend and one of the principals, developed this book called Dream. Dream is a book that is illustrated by 15 illustrators of childrens books. But this is not a childrens book. This is a book that children and adults can share together, so this is a starting point for The Legacy Project and also in some sense a starting point for our celebration of learning here at The Intergenerational School.”

Amy Compton:
Background: female in a white dress speaking on a microphone about the book Dream, and holding a notebook.

“We talked about dreams and wishes and what the difference is. And we wrote stores, we made dances, we made songs. And then the structure you’re going to see tonight developed out of those games and that process.”

Video: Teenagers Dancing
In the style of step, urban, and hip hop. Instructor is playing a tambourine, teenagers are sliding their hands up and down, clapping, skipping and regrouping, they stop, clap, snap their fingers, move and regroup towards the center, have their backs towards the audience and move into a horizontal line, then quickly turn around, yell “hey!,” and the dance ends.

Background: same library book shelves, same image of the children and elderly people posing as before, teenagers interacting with their mentors near a tree, giving each other high fives. The young adults exploring the arboretum, learning about the trees.

Video of two mentors performing for an audience, a woman is dancing while a man plays the violin with a tree animation playing in the background on a projector. Image of mentor singing with a child chorus. Image of children raising their hands while dancing with a mentor.

“Trees are a metaphor for many things that connect us to nature. It happens to be the theme of the Legacy Project, our partners from Canada, because their legacy center is located in an arboretum. And earlier this month our kids were up from Cleveland, in Toronto telling stories with trees. Rachel Carson used the expression and produced a book called the sense of wonder. As a scientist she felt that our curiosity about the world around us was built on this kind of mystery and curiosity, which we try to foster in the Intergenerational School. So we’re doing this in the Intergenerational School in an intergenerative way. We’re looking for awe and wonder and curiosity, from many different spheres of human life, from many different countries, different organizations and putting them together in a celebration of learning.”

Special Thanks to:
Peter Whitehouse, Director & Photographer, CWRU & TIS
Davey Berris, Videographer & Editor, CWRU
Cathy Whitehouse, The Intergenerational School
Eric McGarvey, The Intergenerational School
Ben Smith, Case Western Reserve University
Susan Bosak, Legacy Project
Brian Puppa, Legacy Project
Gwen Parker, Judson Smart Living
Lin Bartel, Judson Smart Living

Lynn Deering, Cleveland State University
Amy Compton, Cleveland State University
Lisa Hunt, Cleveland State University
Lisa DeCato, Cleveland State University
Judith-Kate Friedman, Songwriting Works
Salvatore Sacco, Toronto Photographer
Tim Harrison, Cleveland Photographer

The Intergenerational School, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Legacy Project, Judson Smart Living, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


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