"I have learned that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of a senior" ~ Mickey Rooney
An email to LINKages from a Junior High teacher: "I need to tell you that David and John did a very kind deed when they were on their way to school yesterday. They noticed a senior in distress and came to her aid. They used her phone to call 911 and I believe the ambulance came to take her away. They stayed with her until she was safe. I'd like to think that their relationships with the seniors in Linkages had some influence on their decision to relate to her as a person in need….. it's very heartwarming what they did."
LINKages connects over 1000 youth and seniors each school year, building mutually beneficial friendships through well-designed programs and community engagement. Youth between the ages of 12 and 24 learn volunteer skills, develop compassion and social skills and at the same time learn about history and culture from the generation that lived it.
Elders living in care centres, seniors residences or independent-living get the opportunity to share their wisdom, stories and skills. They feel less isolated and more connected when they interact regularly with their young friends. Seniors become engaged and have opportunities to succeed in the environment around them. Intergenerational connections touches the heart and soul of the senior.
LINKages offers school/care centre-based programs to junior high and senior high aged youth, as well as more independent visiting programs for post-secondary students. We also engage seniors and youth through our community development programs that involve larger groups in activities like games nights, neigbourhood celebrations and workshops.
Our programs and activities inspire both generations to get involved in their larger community, volunteer and share their strengths and knowledge. Both generations gain confidence, compassion and a sense of belonging through connecting with each other. At the community level, LINKages is leading the way to creating age-friendly communities.
LINKages envisions a strong, vibrant community where youth and seniors thrive.
LINKages facilitates innovative intergenerational programs and services that encourage involvement and transfer of knowledge and which capitalize on the strengths of youth and seniors to foster strong Alberta communities.
About LINKages Society
LINKages provides meaningful, outcomes-oriented programs that are designed to build bridges between generations, decrease negative attitudes and myths, promote greater understanding and respect for generations, and introduce young people from junior high to post-secondary ages to the intrinsic benefits of volunteering and civic engagement.
With growing demand we also provide train-the-trainer workshops throughout Alberta and support other agencies in their efforts to establish local intergenerational programs.
LINKages depends on charitable donations to provide programs to schools, senior centres and communities. You contributions support the development and delivery of student training, program development and delivery, supplies, student transportation and knowledgeable staff to lead and coordinate programs.
Currently, our small but mighty team of 5 staff provide up to 20 programs throughout Calgary and offer training programs in other Alberta communities. We are fiscally responsible and do not offer programs unless they are fully funded. Our students and seniors depend on your generosity to offer these impactul opportunities.
What People Are Saying
"The best classroom in the world is at the feet of a senior."
— Andy Rooney
"When properly implemented, intergenerational programs deliver positive health effects, learning and socializations for both young and old. "
— Prof. Shannon Jarret, Virginia State University, 2011
"My name is Papa John. I am 97 years old and I don't count anymore."
— Papa John, East Village resident