Heritage Residents Share Life Stories with Local Students Thanks to “Go Local” Grant

The Homestead and The Woodlands senior living communities at Heritage Ministries are proud to announce the culmination of a unique intergenerational program made possible by a grant from the Health Foundation for Central & Western NY. The “Go Local” grant aims to promote intergenerational connections and combat ageism by fostering collaboration between residents and local students.

Sharing Wisdom Through Stories

Residents of Heritage were encouraged to write their life stories, share words of wisdom with younger generations, or create fictional tales to share with students at local schools. Heritage partnered with the Sinclairville Free Library and Cassadaga Valley High School to facilitate these exchanges.

Librarian Beth Hadley hosted memoir writing sessions where residents received guidance on crafting their life stories. Additionally, local biography writer Patricia Pihl led a multi-week class where residents explored their early years, careers, and life-shaping experiences.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Health Foundation for Central & Western NY for their support of this program,” said Becky LeBaron, Area Director of Senior Housing at Heritage. “The ‘Go Local’ grant has allowed us to bridge the generation gap, create meaningful connections between our residents and local students, and partner with the talented artists who made this possible.”

Connecting Generations

The resulting collection of stories will be displayed at the Cassadaga Valley High School library, allowing students to learn from the past, ask questions, and appreciate the experiences of older adults. Plans are underway to share the stories with the elementary school and other interested institutions.

Community Reception

The public is invited to a celebratory reception at the Sinclairville Free Library on Thursday, May 2nd from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet the resident authors, ask questions, and experience the power of intergenerational connection.

Project Supported by Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System

This project, titled “Life Lessons Generational Outreach,” is further supported by the Outreach mini-grant program of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.