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Senior Citizens Share Life Histories with Eleventh Graders from Bronx High Schools

Teachers College Student Press Initiative and Millennium High School Celebrate Book Release at Barnes and Noble
Teachers College Student Press Initiative and Millennium High School Celebrate Book Release at Barnes and Noble

NEW YORK, NY -- May 19, 2006   What kind of questions would an 11th grader from the Bronx put to a 92 year old senior citizen?   Why would they even be talking to one another? Come to Barnes and Noble in Co-op City this Wednesday, May 24th from 12:00 -- 1:00 PM and find out when the Teachers College Student Press Initiative brings together senior citizens from the Bronx and 11th grade students from the Millennium Art Academy, a New York City public school that has a special focus on issues that affect the elderly, to celebrate the publication of their collaboration and the release of their book, Back in the Day, II: Speak to Us of Work.

Back in the Day is the culmination of a year-long oral history initiative. The project is unique because of the intergenerational educational, social, and artistic experiences that benefited both elders and students. As students interacted closely with the elders and obtained their oral histories, the students wrote, designed, and published a book that bridges the eras of both past and present. According to one of the students, "hearing these stories has made me look closer at all of the stereotypes. There is so much about us that's the same, even though our ages are so far apart." The elders too were invigorated by the year-long investment of time, energy and emotion: "Being a part of this project helps me get out of bed in the morning," said one of the participating seniors.  

Both the students and the elders derived a great deal of knowledge and satisfaction from this collaboration and are extremely excited about the final publication of the book. 

On Wednesday, May 24th, the student authors will be sharing the seniors' stories by reading from Back in the Day.  There will also be performances reflecting the stories acted by the students as well as a short film. The reading will take place at the Barnes and Noble store in Co-op City at 290 Baychester Avenue, Bronx, New York.
 
The Student Press Initiative (SPI) is a program of the Morse Center for the Professional Education of Teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University.  The Student Press Initiative is designed to develop, foster, and promote writing across the curriculum through student publication.  SPI works at different New York City schools to produce thematic anthologies of student writing.  Past publications include About Face: Portraits of Activism, a profile over 30 social activists in New York City written by 12th graders; Killing the Sky: Oral Histories from Horizon Academy, Rikers Island, in which incarcerated youth write their own personal narratives; and Temporary Identity: How to Survive High School & Other Student Insights written by older high school students for incoming high school students.  SPI's web site is www.publishspi.org.

Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation. Teachers College is affiliated with Columbia University, but it is legally and financially independent. The editors of U.S. News and World Report have ranked Teachers College as one of the leading graduate schools of education in the country.

Teachers College is dedicated to promoting equity and excellence in education and overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between the most and least advantaged groups in this country. Through scholarly programs of teaching, research, and service, the College draws upon the expertise of a diverse community of faculty in education, psychology and health, as well as students and staff from across the country and around the world.

For more information, please visit the college's Web site at www.tc.columbia.edu.
 
Educational equity -- a moral imperative for the 21st century


Published Sunday, Jun. 18, 2006

Senior Citizens Share Life Histories with Eleventh Graders from Bronx High Schools

Teachers College Student Press Initiative and Millennium High School Celebrate Book Release at Barnes and Noble

NEW YORK, NY -- May 19, 2006   What kind of questions would an 11th grader from the Bronx put to a 92 year old senior citizen?   Why would they even be talking to one another? Come to Barnes and Noble in Co-op City this Wednesday, May 24th from 12:00 -- 1:00 PM and find out when the Teachers College Student Press Initiative brings together senior citizens from the Bronx and 11th grade students from the Millennium Art Academy, a New York City public school that has a special focus on issues that affect the elderly, to celebrate the publication of their collaboration and the release of their book, Back in the Day, II: Speak to Us of Work.

Back in the Day is the culmination of a year-long oral history initiative. The project is unique because of the intergenerational educational, social, and artistic experiences that benefited both elders and students. As students interacted closely with the elders and obtained their oral histories, the students wrote, designed, and published a book that bridges the eras of both past and present. According to one of the students, "hearing these stories has made me look closer at all of the stereotypes. There is so much about us that's the same, even though our ages are so far apart." The elders too were invigorated by the year-long investment of time, energy and emotion: "Being a part of this project helps me get out of bed in the morning," said one of the participating seniors.  

Both the students and the elders derived a great deal of knowledge and satisfaction from this collaboration and are extremely excited about the final publication of the book. 

On Wednesday, May 24th, the student authors will be sharing the seniors' stories by reading from Back in the Day.  There will also be performances reflecting the stories acted by the students as well as a short film. The reading will take place at the Barnes and Noble store in Co-op City at 290 Baychester Avenue, Bronx, New York.
 
The Student Press Initiative (SPI) is a program of the Morse Center for the Professional Education of Teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University.  The Student Press Initiative is designed to develop, foster, and promote writing across the curriculum through student publication.  SPI works at different New York City schools to produce thematic anthologies of student writing.  Past publications include About Face: Portraits of Activism, a profile over 30 social activists in New York City written by 12th graders; Killing the Sky: Oral Histories from Horizon Academy, Rikers Island, in which incarcerated youth write their own personal narratives; and Temporary Identity: How to Survive High School & Other Student Insights written by older high school students for incoming high school students.  SPI's web site is www.publishspi.org.

Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation. Teachers College is affiliated with Columbia University, but it is legally and financially independent. The editors of U.S. News and World Report have ranked Teachers College as one of the leading graduate schools of education in the country.

Teachers College is dedicated to promoting equity and excellence in education and overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between the most and least advantaged groups in this country. Through scholarly programs of teaching, research, and service, the College draws upon the expertise of a diverse community of faculty in education, psychology and health, as well as students and staff from across the country and around the world.

For more information, please visit the college's Web site at www.tc.columbia.edu.
 
Educational equity -- a moral imperative for the 21st century


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