In 2013, the Colony Park apartment community began its partnership with Glenbard North High School, creating an intergenerational program in which the older adults at Colony Park are visited once a month by students in Project AIM (Advancing into Mainstream), a program for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.
Students in the program have assisted with unloading deliveries from food banks and planned social events and holiday parties with residents. Students planned games, including a Price Is Right style game where residents had to guess what common household items cost in the 1950s and 60s. They also had “Name that Tune” and TV trivia using music and shows from the 50s and 60s. These were fun for residents, who got to re-live their youth, and also educated the students about culture at that time in history.
The intergenerational program with Colony Park and Glenbard North provides a bonding experience for the residents and students. Some students have difficult home lives and do not have good relationships with their families. Likewise, some residents’ families live far away or aren’t able to visit often. The program provides the opportunity for everyone involved to build relationships that would not have occurred otherwise.
The special education teacher and leader of Project AIM said that the program with Colony Park has increased her students’ self esteem and sense of belonging, developed their social skills and given many a purpose for coming to school.
The Colony Park and Glenbard North HS Intergenerational Program was the recipient of the Affordable Housing Innovative Program of the Year award in 2016.
For more information on the program, contact AASC.