Moving America Forward

This Unique Education Initiative Connects Lonely Seniors to Chatty Teens

May 12, 2014
by
Menu
This Unique Education Initiative Connects Lonely Seniors to Chatty Teens
A Brazil youth speaks with an elderly resident at Windsor Park Retirement Community in Chicago. Screengrab via YouTube
These Chicago retirees prove that friendship has no age restriction.

You can use it to make Skype calls. Or to check on your baby as she sleeps. But this brilliant — yet simple — idea is probably the most charming use of webcam we’ve ever seen.

As part of a language exchange program launched by FCB Brasil and the CNA language school in Liberdade, Brazil, elderly residents of Windsor Park Retirement Community in Chicago are helping Brazilian teens improve their English through one-on-one video conversations. The exchanges are recorded and then uploaded onto a private YouTube channel for instructors to evaluate the student’s progress.

As you can see in the heartwarming video below, these exchanges don’t just help the students speak English with increased accuracy and confidence; the lessons provide the seniors new friends and exposure to a world outside their retirement home, too.

As the students and teachers share their hopes and dreams, it’s clear that strong bonds have been created. One student told his “more-mature” friend who was eager to visit Brazil, “You can stay in my house if you want.” And in a particularly touching moment, an elderly woman tells her young friend, “You are my new granddaughter.”

MORE: These Seniors Needed Affordable Housing, and These Kids Needed Love. Together, They’re Beautifully Solving Both Problems

“The idea is simple and it’s a win-win proposition for both the students and the American senior citizens,” Joanna Monteiro, executive creative director at FCB Brasil, told Adweek. “It’s exciting to see their reactions and contentment. It truly benefits both sides.”

[ph]

Comments