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Education Week


Older adults possess what many young people lack: history, patience, and a deep knowledge of the human struggle. At a time when flexibility and the ability to change are essential skills for entry into the economy, senior citizens can show the way. They were born, after all, before television, jet planes, and communications satellites. And in an age in which mobility, poverty, and other forces have severed family ties, older adults are a living link with the past. With all the benefits that can accrue from involving older people in our schools, it would seem to make sense that' this type of activity be a key element of educational restructuring. But although every state has some kind of intergenerational programming, none has a systematic plan to including older adults as a formal element of school reform.