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Connecting Generations through Story

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Stories have tremendous power to shape our lives. Elders are a particularly rich source of stories that can provide valuable insights into personal and cultural history. Joy Gordon, a storyteller herself, was keenly aware of this fact when she started the ALVA Leadership Development class last October. She fashioned her leadership project around finding a way to create environments that invite our elders to tell their stories. Joy developed a set of prompts on story cards, each with a topic and related words, to help families collect and share the stories of their elders. After an intensive development and production process, the cards are now being printed.

joycegordonnew_118“Being witness to a person’s story is one of the greatest gifts you can give,” says Joy. “These cards make it easier to engage elders. As they tell their stories, they affirm their identities—who they have been and what they have contributed. For younger generations, the process is informative and fun.”

The beautifully designed set of 20 cards includes conversational topics such as “The Best,” “Your Essence,” and “Time of Your Life.” Joy suggests using the cards on birthdays, at gatherings, during the holidays, at home with loved ones, or wherever stories are told.

The set sells for $10 plus $2.50 shipping and handling, and is sold through the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis. To order a set for yourself, email jgordon@jfcsmpls.org, call 952-542-4819, or download the order form to print and mail.

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