Link Generations: Make a Connection


Photo Courtesy of Lori Marks

A child helps an elderly woman in an assisted living home with a puzzle.

By Vicky Gunawan, Contest Manager

A new club called Link Generations that connects elders and teens will be coming to CHS for the 2017-2018 school year.

Link Generations is a non-profit organization started by Lori Marks, the aunt of sophomore Melissa Marks. The purpose of the club is for high schoolers to positively impact the lives of those in assisted living. It will provide opportunities for club members to visit the Ring House, a community for the retired.

“I think it will make high schoolers more conscious of those around them and [the ability to] give back to their community,” Melissa said.

Lori Marks started this non-profit organization with the intention of creating a social and educational program that will connect adolescents with elders in order to promote emotional and psychological health. She plans to implement this program through a club at CHS.

“Forming this non-profit organization allows me to develop opportunities for both populations to learn about each other and contribute to each other in meaningful ways,” Marks said.

According to Marks, the club is designed to give students leadership opportunities by allowing them to organize activities appropriate for elders. It will also give students a chance to be exposed to a wide range of career possibilities in the health, education, advocacy and history fields.

The students will design activities such as music, life story telling, art, coloring and dance for the elderly residents.

“The way it will work is that the club will meet to plan structured activities that target cognitive stimulation, social interaction and physical movement appropriate for elderly residents in nearby assisted living facilities,” Marks said. “As part of the program, students will be trained in basic principles of adult development and aging as well as practical techniques for working with older adults who may have cognitive and physical limitations.”

Students will be able to choose which activities they run based on their interests, and will then have the opportunity to demonstrate a new set of skills on a generation that is often neglected.

“I am working on getting approved by counseling and finding a teacher to sponsor my club,” Melissa said. “We are already working on some of the curriculum for the club.”

Sophomore Regan Solomon plans to be the treasurer for the new club. Her main role will to help plan fundraisers to raise money for the club.

“I hope to find the experiences that this club offers to be enriching,” Solomon said. “The purpose is really unique, really important and a great way to get involved in the community.”