July 7, 2014

Summer officially began for me the second week of June.  During the first half of summer I will be working on community health projects with high school students on Chicago’s South Side through the Summer Service Partnership (summerservicepartnership.com).  During the spring quarter and the beginning of the summer, I have been working on planning and recruiting for the Generations of Us project.  The South Side Help Center will be recruiting students from its youth summer programs, and I spent several Tuesdays at the Atlas Senior Center tabling and meeting with older adults.  My goal is to have 25 youth and 25 older adult participants, and I have almost reached that goal!  As a part of the recruitment, I also developed a flyer to advertise and promote the program.  Check out the flyer!

In May, I also had the opportunity to attend an Oral History workshop at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center led by Voices of Witness (www.voicesofwitness.org).  Through this interactive workshop, I had the chance to practice conducting oral histories as well as leading and teaching workshops on how to interview and record people’s histories.  I left the workshop with many ideas for the Generations of Us curriculum, as well as with two handy books: High Rise Stories and The Power of the Story.  Both of the books are published by Voices of Witness.  High Rise Stories includes stories from those who lived in Chicago Public Housing, and The Power of the Story is a teacher’s guide for oral history.  I am learning a lot about different

ways to introduce and incorporate oral history into interactive projects.  They have also been helpful recruitment tools and great conversation starters with older adults at the Atlas Center!

Since I am still gearing up for the Generations of Us workshops to actually start on August 11, I wanted to give you some information about the organizations that I am partnering with this summer: the Atlas Senior Center and the South Side Help Center.

The Southeast (Atlas) Senior Center is located at 1767 E. 79th St. in Chicago, IL. Established by the Department of Family and Support Services in 1980, the Southeast Atlas Regional Center is run by the City of Chicago and geographically located to

serve the following Chicago wards; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 25th, 33rd and 34th wards. The center offers ongoing and special programs for seniors over the age of 65, including art, golden diners (meals) programs, fitness, continuing education, music, dance, social support, and much more!  Robin Tillotson is the regional director and my main contact at the Atlas Senior Center. (http://www.79thstreetseniors.com/)

The South Side Help Center (SSHC) is located at 10420 S. Halsted in Chicago, IL.  The SSHC’s mission is to “provide people

with positive and healthy alternatives” through a variety of programs and services. Founded in June 1987, SSHC’s purpose is to help people of all ages embrace a lifestyle of prevention against mental, physical and social ills by providing positive, healthy alternatives so that community residents can lead productive lives.  The SSHC Youth Programs are a comprehensive collection of programs that help youth & teens to achieve success, inherit positive self-esteem, distinguish values.  Marcus Flenaugh is the Youth Development Director and my primary contact at SSHC. (www.southsidehelp.org)

I look forward to providing more updates about the project as it gets closer to the launch date, August 11!

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