Lee Reid in group.

Lee Reed, author of Growing Together: Conversations with Seniors and Youth and Elizabeth Cunningham, author of A Fragile Grace, are both advocates for intergenerational education and the establishment of intergeneration groups with seniors and youth. Their powerful and timely presentation is slated for the next Author’s Reading at Slocan Community Library on March 1st, 2020 at 1 pm. It is one you won’t want to miss.

“In a few years, our generation of youth will have the most power, which we are not ready for. It is important to have people who are already experienced in life to guide us. It is important to know about history, so that we don’t repeat the mistakes.” This comment by a sixteen-year-old emerged from one of several conversation groups that brought seniors and youth together at LV Rogers Secondary School in Nelson.

When asked what youth wanted to discuss with seniors, they said, “We want to talk about climate change and ‘Me Too.’ Will you tell us about death, because the media scare us with violent, gory and grotesque images? We need to know if love is an unreal infatuation at our age and what love means for older people. Can we talk about loneliness? How can we know if technology makes loneliness worse or better?”

The teens invited the seniors to open up, “Tell us about your spirituality, your hope. What are the skills you learned to get you through hard times?” To the surprise of many seniors, youth affirmed, “After all you seniors have been through, you are still growing. How can we be strong like you?” And the seniors’ voices replied, “We need conversations; we need to hear the way forward from youth.”

Recently, The Rural Health network asked Lee Reid to write a guide to support and encourage other communities to establish intergenerational groups with seniors and youth which she will share with the audience. The creation of intergeneration support groups is vital when youth are asking:

How can we help each other in a world where the future seems scary and uncertain?

How can we stay present with despair when we see overwhelming suffering in our world?

What does leadership and compassion look like when violence and bullying seem the norm?

Lee Reid is a retired clinical counselor who currently facilitates conversation groups that bring seniors and youth together at LV Rogers Secondary school. She is the author of two books that inspire seniors to live creatively and challenge negative stereotypes about aging.

To round out the literary afternoon, Elizabeth Cunningham will explore themes of aging, loss, love and resilience through the lens of transcendent poetry. She is an Expressive Arts therapist, teacher, photographer and an award-winning poet. A testimonial of Elizabeth’s work by writer and Selkirk College teacher, Leesa Dean, adds to the anticipation of hearing Elizabeth share her poetry “Juxtaposing strength and vulnerability, it reflects on relationships past and present, on youth, aging, gracefully mapping the crescendos and diminuendos of the human and natural world.”

Author reading events are free for the public at the Slocan Community Library at 710 Harold Street across from the Harold Street Café.

– Slocan Community Library