Ithaca College and Longview Celebrate 10 Years Of Bringing Young And Old Together

ITHACA, NY — What was it like living through the Great Depression? Would you be willing to speak to my class about the human impact of privatizing Medicare? Can I introduce you to Facebook? Will you waltz with me at the Harvest Moon Dance?

These were a handful of the questions students, staff and faculty from Ithaca College and residents of Longview have asked each other since 1998, the year a partnership was established between the college (where the average student age is around 20) and the independent, not-for-profit adult community at 1 Bella Vista Drive (where the average age is 85). In the last 10 years, members of the Ithaca College community have taken part in service learning projects, course-related initiatives and volunteer opportunities with Longview residents, who have, in turn, granted interviews to students studying the psychology of aging, sung with students in the Intergenerational Choir, and participated in a student initiative to benefit children in the local Head Start program.

“Many people are now living into their 80s and 90s with reasonably good health,” said John Krout, professor of gerontology and director of the Gerontology Institute. “Because of this new demographic, the college’s partnership with Longview allows us to better understand how older people can continue to flourish. The partnership also provides us with a golden opportunity to maintain the college’s leadership role in experiential learning.”

The college’s participation in the partnership is multidisciplinary and comes from all five schools, the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies, and the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies, which houses the Linden Center for Creativity and Aging. In a typical semester, two dozen faculty, between five and ten staff members, and approximately 300 students from 20 majors interact with well over 100 residents in 40 different activities at Longview. And in turn, Longview residents take classes at the college and attend many college performances and activities.

The college kicked off the official recognition of the 10-year celebration with a Nov. 14 tea held at Longview, which featured remarks from President Thomas Rochon. Other commemorative events will be scheduled throughout the academic year.

Originally published in News Releases: Ithaca College and Longview Celebrate 10 Years Of Bringing Young And Old Together.

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