The Geeks & Gramps Program is designed to bridge generational gaps between youth and seniors by connecting them with through the use of technology. 6-10 recruited youth ages 12-18 from the community, local schools and youth centers, devote 4 hours over the summer, engaging in volunteerism, and learning to communicate effectively with other generations. Participating youth are expected to attend a specialized 2-hour preparation workshop learning facilitation, group management, presentation, communication skills, and dressing for success. Youth then volunteer 2-hours at a local senior center. The program aims to offer youth in our community, serving as subject matter experts (SMEs), an opportunity to volunteer and teach use of cell phones, tablets and laptops. The successful outcome of the program thus far has been 7 youth, who provided hands-on experiential learning to 21 seniors at the Gadsden Senior Center, teaching basic and intermediary cell phone functions. Participating youth included students from AMIkids Gadsden. DRMI plans to offer at least two more sessions, in July and/or August in Tallahassee; and the Chattahoochie Senior Center is interested in having the program at their site in July. Our expected programmatic outcomes for at least 3 sessions include: •20-40 seniors will feel more confident in using their cell phones/devices, and understand different ways of staying connected with family and friends.•10-20 youth will receive specialized training in facilitation, group management, presentation and communication skills. •10-20 youth will engage in volunteerism and learn to communicate effectively with other generations. •5-8 adults will serve as mentors/training support for participating youth. The pilot program at Gadsden Senior Center was a huge success and was featured on WCTV, see: https://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Teens-teach-Gadsden-Co-seniors-how-to-use-cell-phones-511438991.html and https://www.wctv.tv/video?vid=511452722.
Funded by Tallahassee, FL (August 2019)