I attended and gave a presentation with Dr. Jinhee Kim (Kennesaw State University) at the largest early childhood education conference in the world, the 2017 NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA. The title of the presentation was “Meaningful Intergenerational (IG) Activities in Early Childhood Classrooms.” Acknowledgement of an aging population has been growing and valuing the knowledge of older adults is becoming key to successful classroom environments.
The presentation introduced the definition of IG activities/program, types of IG programs, and three cases on how to plan, implement, and assess IG activities in three different early childhood education classrooms. One of the best examples was from a 1st grade teacher in Juneau, Alaska. She utilized community resources to recruit an Alaskan Native elder who taught about salmon fishing through reading story books, singing songs in an Alaskan Native tongue, dancing, and sharing his own fishing experience. A few video clips along with pictures were shared. Other attendees shared their experiences and ideas about IG activities, resulting in a highly engaging session.
In addition to giving a presentation, I spent time networking. I was invited to the NAEYC Affiliate Leadership meeting and Diversity Interest forum. I also met with a staff member of NAEYC and fellow ECE professionals.