Intergenerational Interview & Writing Project

Listen to a Life
An Intergenerational Writing/Interviewing Project

Participating in the Listen to a Life project affords students the opportunity to learn to appreciate experiences of elders in their community and the value of their advice and guidance, something that is too often missing within American communities.

A loss of information and experiences between generations is accepted as relatively normal within American culture- but as each generation misses out on learning about those before them, valuable lessons and stories are lost.  In order to encourage learning from older community members, kids can participate in a unique intergenerational  interview and writing project, the Listen to a Life Contest!

The Listen to a Life Contest calls for students ages 8-18 to interview a community member over the age of 50 (who is not their parent) about their hopes and goals over the course of their life, the ways in which they achieved their goals or overcame obstacles, and how their goals may have changed or evolved over the course of time.  Students are then asked to write an essay (up to 300 words) on the information that they’ve learned.  There are great prizes available to winners (including a computer, EdOptions products for the student’s school, and more!), but the more valuable parts of the contest aren’t prizes.

By conducting interviews and writing the essay, students will learn about and reflect on the changes that take place throughout life and the process of becoming older and wiser as a result of experience.  Students will learn to appreciate the experiences of their elders and will hopefully also learn to value the advice and guidance of older community members- something that is too often missing within American communities.  To learn more about the contest, visit

[Photo credit: (ccl) Ronn Aldaman]

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