- MEDIA RELEASE -
Gen Connection Re-commenced
Date: 14 August 2020
Following the success of the Gen Connection project pilot the project has now re-commenced with another 30 students participating.
The project connects students from Greater Shepparton Secondary College to senior members of our community whom are currently socially isolated. As part of the project students phone a senior buddy within the community twice a week to connect and also gain information about their buddy’s life in order to write a biography which forms part of their school curriculum assessment tasks.
“Last time we ran the project it resulted in a total of 194 conversations involving 29 students and seniors, furthermore our evaluation suggested it was extremely successful in lifting the mood and level of happiness of both the student and their senior mentor” Ms Robinson said.
“It’s a project of mutual benefit, older local residents gain a new connection and students gain insights about their life which assist in addressing assessment tasks linked to the curriculum,” explained the Mooroopna Assistant Principal Mrs. Utber
The project concept was developed drawing in the skills of Shepparton South Rotary Club member, David Earle, and Greater Shepparton Lighthouse’s Industry Links project team.
Lighthouse Strategic Project Coordinator, Amy Robinson, is passionate about the project aims and is providing overall support as well as helping with monitoring to ensure the ongoing success of the project.
“Utilising David’s knowledge and connections, supported by Lighthouse’s monitoring and evaluation frameworks, we were able to source the residents and also create a structure that enables students to log their weekly conversations allowing us to evaluate the ongoing effectiveness of the project,” Ms Robinson said.
“Some of the residents feel isolated, an issue that has only been exacerbated by this pandemic, so assessing increased levels of connection and overall happiness is paramount to this project’s success as much as the biography students create.” Ms Robinson said.
“This is an example of community rallying together, all playing their small part to overcome a social challenge that has a huge impact on residents in our community. Shepparton South Rotary is happy to be assisting to drive it’s success and create a structure for project expansion,” added Mr Earle.
The project has rolled out in three classes already and has been very popular with students and their older mentors alike. Lighthouse and Rotary are currently seeking additional mentors that may be experiencing isolation to come forward and get involved in the conversations in future.
For more information on the Gen Connection project please contact Amy Robinson on 0438 308 581.
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