A laboratory for learning awaits us here.

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Mentoring Madness

We want to let you know about a new group we organize in Atlanta called the Laboratory for Intergenerational Learning.  These are questions members wish to ask of one another:

  1. What style of learning would be most effective for your child, student, resident, patient or loved one?
  2. What physical, visual, motor or cognitive impairments are important to manage?
  3. Would a therapeutic recreational activity enhance your care setting or lifestyle in some way?
  4. What kinds of specialized training in cognition or memory care might interest you?
  5. Are you curious about intergenerational learning opportunities?

These are the top categories we are targeting for membership:

Alzheimer’s Disease · Parenting & Family · Mental Health Counselors · Social Gaming · Early Diagnosis Dementia · Caregivers to Seniors · Family Outdoor Recreation · Sandwich Generation · Adults Taking Care of Aging Parents · Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease · Occupational Therapy · Holistic Health · Cognitive Behavior Therapy – CBT · Improving Memory · Autism and Asperger’s

As a sidenote, our Facebook community group, Intergenerational Learning, is worldwide, so we welcome you, your staff and volunteers to share ideas with us about social mentoring and group learning. We sincerely hope to continue building relationships together outside our region and look forward to future conversations.

The organizers are very new to the aging services community, but truly feel the wonderful game of chess can and will benefit families and groups.  The game of chess is being unearthed in a new and balanced way to improve social interactions. Chess is being adapted to exploit metacognition (learning to learn) and situational analysis.  As a result, family relationships may be strengthened and channels to personal growth developed. “Chess Therapy” as its been called builds on strong breakthrough energies as the power of the game becomes a gateway to understanding the natural world.

If you have a taste for intrigue, or learning about chess for the very first time (we hope you are), we encourage you to explore the game of chess through a Canadian television series released in 2011 called Endgame. Shown in the series as a set of “life lessons”, we hope you enjoy Endgame as much as we have.  The game’s enduring principles have been handed down through tireless generations in search for what lies beneath the surface in so many aspects of our lives.  This is a social mentoring program for creating intergenerational bonds that we feel are so important with an increasingly aging society that will soon be lost.

Through life’s journey we may reflect on and refine our decisions.  Life is a game, but not one of chance.  It is a struggle for balance, simplicity, interdependence and goodwill. The process of learning the game of chess even still is experimental and is really a laboratory for learning the game of life.  The endgame has no end in sight.  Chess offers a lifetime of opportunity to learn, enjoy and teach this truly remarkable game.

poster_art_exhibition_artists_books_Beeskow_Elke_Rehder

The game of chess is being unearthed in a new and balanced way to improve social interactions.
Chess painting by Elke Rehder

A laboratory for learning awaits us here.

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What An Experience

Last weekend was something new for my wife and me.  Yvonne’s aunt invited us several weeks ago to go horseback riding – we finally did.  She also introduced us to Sandra Floyd.  Sandra began a wonderful program in recent years that provides fun and excitement for kids who are physically handicapped. Sandra is amazing in more ways than one.  She also teaches disadvantaged kids positive “life lessons” that many would never receive.  With a huge bag of chess sets in tow Yvonne & I set off to find out more…

We met Sandra in the Talladega National Forest near the Alabama-Georgia border.  Over the next couple of days she introduced us to many of her newly adopted kids ranging in age from 5 years all the way up to teenagers.  Many of you know the record-setting tornadoes that pillaged this region only last week, but horseback riding had everyone’s attention.  Fallen trees became an obstacle for us as we navigated through the winding and hilly trails.  Mealtimes around the campfire allowed for storytelling and what else…chess!

We met Greg who was one of the older and wiser young men.  He told us about his grandmother.  It turns out that Greg’s grandmother was on top of the chess world and was a ranking worldchess competitor!  It was no surprise to see Greg give Yvonne and me tough games.

Learn more about this wonderful program by contacting Rachel’s Wish Foundation headquartered in Tallapoosa, GA, or by contacting the  Tanner Behavior Health Equine Therapeutic Program at (770)-832-8247.  Sandra Floyd may be reached directly by phone at the Possum Snout Arena at (770) 574-8104.

The kids let us know they had never played chess along side an early firelight on a Spring afternoon. What a tranquil place…

 

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