by Richard O Harris
(Jacksonville, FL, USA)
Integration of Generations to Continue Our Advancement as a Global Leader
I ask simply that you read the short petition and understand the potential it has to assist our country in it's ongoing efforts to remain independent. I am not demanding the examples I used be instituted but have placed them there to generate potential ideas from others seeking solutions to the same issues. I was fortunate and have had a great life experience even though I never expected to be totally disabled by the age of 50 and I would love to see our communities' return to a more peaceful time when young and old respected and cherished each other.
Our First Lady has even recognized the need for better nutrition in our schools and the President has admitted to needing cuts in our Seniors Programs. We can make a difference working together and remembering our own childhood experiences. Our time and resources are better utilized by removing the walls that separate our children and our elders.
It is with great respect I submit this idea knowing it can be used without an increase in costs to our government. I will continue to do all I can though the political processes make my efforts difficult as the usual response is a robot email. I can only trust this reaches someone who can shape it into a more workable solution for our country.
With the rising cost of food and the increasing need to cut budgets for both high schools and senior citizens, it is time we take advantage of all our resources, including each other. Our First Lady is calling for better nutrition programs even now and we are allowing a generation of citizens to die without a chance of sharing their knowledge and influence. Additionally, our high school drop out rates continue to rise and seem to match the rise in the community's rate of violence.
We have an opportunity never before presented in our history to create an integration of generations that can help alleviate some of these issues. For instance, volunteers from our Senior Citizens can be called upon or even given an incentive with part-time jobs to help local area schools start a garden and learn how to grow the vegetables for their own cafeterias and Senior Citizen "Meals on Wheels" programs. This type of "life experience" could be used in place of a science project for the student and give them something to look forward to instead of a book and a classroom.
With an ever increasing elderly population, we can take this time to avoid losing their knowledge of a time when rotary phones and washing machines were the latest "high tech" items to be found. Only 52 years old, I have been fortunate enough to know 7 generations of my family, beginning with my maternal great-grandmother who helped me learn self sufficiency and sustainability. What happens in just the next 10 years when that generation has died out and taken their experiences with them?
Another example could be the pairing of a student with a Senior Citizen in a Grandma/pa & Grandson/daughter program much like the Big Brothers & Sisters program we have now. The student could be assigned to write the life story of his/her "Grandparent" as part of a Social Studies assignment, again getting them out of the classroom and learning about their own heritage. In turn, the "Grandparent" could visit the student's class for an ask and answer session to help reduce their fear of the children in the community and their increasing isolation from our society.
Let's not make the mistake of letting one of the most valuable resources available to us, our Senior Citizens, die out taking all their knowledge and experience with them. Let's not make the mistake of letting our future leaders, today's students, forget or never know the vast amount of advancement our society has made in the last century or half century. Let's combine these elements to assist and continue advancing our country's "melting pot" so we can provide more for all with less expenditure.
Targeting: The President of the United States, The U.S. Senate, and The U.S. House of Representatives
Started by: Rick Harris
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