“Our students are already showing empathy and are learning from experiences from the past”

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 10.19.02 am.pngWith one final week of our 8 weeks of STEP coming up next week, it was time to get some feedback from the @youthoffthestreets Bowen College School Manager on what she has enjoyed about the program…

“Watching the young people take the time and having patience with the Bupa residents …. seeing rapport building up more and more each session between the students and residents.”

” Our students are already showing empathy and are learning from experiences from the past.”

“We really value this program. It is worthwhile, community spirited and builds empathy.”

 Bringing community back together like this is as much about educating our young people’s hearts as well as their minds.

#seniorsandteensempathyprogram #intergenerationalprogram #intergenerationalprograms #stories4connection #youthoffthestreets #heartandsoulstory #bupaagedcare #bringingcommunitybacktogether

“Music gives a soul to the universe… and life to everything.” 

week 6 b

Around 2,500 years ago, Plato summed up the power of music up perfectly when he said

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

The power of music to connect was seen is spades as laughter, tears and plenty of toe-tapping was shared by students and their Elder buddies during yesterday’s session of STEP (Senior and Teens Empathy Program).

A Spotify playlist of songs from yesteryear and today provided the perfect conversation starter and brought the generations closer as they teamed up in two groups for a ‘fierce’ competition to guess songs.

In a  2013 review of the research on music, Stefan Koelsch, music psychologist at the Freie University Berlin, described several mechanisms through which music impacts our ability to connect with one another—by impacting brain circuits involved in empathy, trust, and cooperation—perhaps explaining how it has survived in every culture of the world. ( Jill Suttie, Four ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds)

Music gives us an oxytocin boost … Oxytocin is a neuropeptide affiliated with breast-feeding and sexual contact, and is known to play an important role in increasing bonding and trust between people. Now researchers are discovering that music may affect oxytocin levels in the body.

Music is included as part of the design of STEP sessions as deliberate means of empathy building. The power of the love of music helping highlight another example of an equaliser between generations.

#seniorsandteensempathyprogram #intergenerationalprogram #YouthofftheStreets #BupaAgedCare#intergenerationalprograms #heartandsoulstory #stories4connection  #music4life #musicconnectspeople

 

“I don’t think she has heard a story like mine before… I knew I had a heart reaction”

 

So great to see both the students from Youth off the Streets and their Elders enjoying their time together so much during the STEP.

Unfortunately, last week the YOTS students had a clash of programs, so missed their visit to Bupa Maroubra … but no fear .. with the wonders of modern technology, the hip and happening septuagenarians and octogenarians ( phew that’s a mouthful) managed to record these lovely messages for their teen buddies.

John, born in Greece in 1933, is one of the residents at Bupa Maroubra participating in STEP (Seniors and Teens Empathy Program).  He is loving how polite and interesting and the teen he has been partnered with is.

” I like how intelligent she is, it’s very nice to talk to her and

I like the students learning about our lives”.

 John was asked what he’d rate the ‘life conversation’ sessions he’s had so far with the teens from 1 – 10 … he gave it a 10.5!

When Judy, aged 71, was asked what she is getting out of the Seniors and Teens Empathy Program thus far she replied

I don’t think she has heard a story like mine before… I didn’t want to see her cry, but I knew I had a heart reaction … I can touch someone else’s life”.

The students have described one of their favourite things about their sessions being that

 We get to see that they are very much just like us”. 

Everyone has a story that can touch another’s life in some way.

We just need to make the time and space to listen.

 

“We do not learn only from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience”

 

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“We do not learn only from experience … We learn from reflecting on experience.”
 
John Dewey was a philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer who believed humans learn through a “hands on” experiential approach.
 
In his thought-provoking article, Patrick Cole reminds us of five brilliant insights Dewey proposed over a century ago that are more than relevant today…
 
“Schools, according to Dewey, are not just places where we learn facts and numbers, but also places where we learn how to live.
 
In other words, the point is not just to learn a certain set of skills (though that helps as well) but rather to realize one’s full potential, and use what you’ve learned for the greater good.
 
How did we lose sight of this?”
 
 
#seniorsandteensempathyprogram #intergenerationalprograms #intergenerationalprogram #bringingcommunitybacktogether #stories4connection
 
🙏Jack Finnigan @jackofallstreets ( Unsplash for the wonderful pic)