The Casa Guadalupe Senior Center story circle meets weekly with two trained facilitators to share stories about their lives with each other. Facilitators encourage participants to share stories across their timeline of their lives that represent a large spectrum of experience. In addition, the group will be encouraged to choose and create some sort of self-identified representation or product based on their stories that can be presented to Casa Guadalupe, the participants’ family and friends, and/or the broader community.
Potential benefits of the story project:
To the participants:
- sharing life stories with each other will allow the participants to gain some insight into each other’s lives as well as their own
- story telling helps with listening and communication skills
- sharing their story allows participants to “give back” to their community, an act that can be difficult for some members of the elderly population
- interests, needs, and wants may be identified through the told stories. Eventually, community agencies can use this information to create more responsive services.
To the broader community:
- The stories developed in the circle may help the broader community better understand the immigrant communities of Allentown. In addition, the story circle may lead to discussions of similarities between and among cultures and immigrant populations that can then be branched out into the broader community and create better inter-cultural understanding.
- The circle will most likely touch on universal themes of what growing older means and what the younger populations can learn from the elderly. This could help develop intergenerational ties and facilitate intergenerational learning, especially if youth are brought in to help facilitate the sessions.
- Identify key community members who may be able to participate in a Community Advisory Board or Community-Based Participatory Research.